The Importance Of Being Earnest

The Importance Of Being Earnest

Lyttelton - National Theatre

4.5/5 based on 72 reviews (read reviews)
  • Opens: Wednesday, 20 November 2024 -
    Booking until: Saturday, 25 January 2025
Couples (93%) Theatregoers (97%) i
The Importance Of Being Earnest description

Welcome to The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde's best-loved play and a brilliant social comedy loved just as much more than 125 years after its debut. Satirical, witty, acidic and fantastically funny, it's on stage at the National Theatre.

Reimagined by the brilliant Max Webster

Reimagined once more, this time by director Max Webster (Donmar's Macbeth, Life of Pi), the show stars the Olivier Award-winner Sharon D Clarke (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Doctor Who) as Lady Bracknell, Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who, Sex Education) as Algernon Moncreiff, and Hugh Skinner (W1A, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) as Jack Worthing.

They're joined by Richard Cant (Stan & Ollie, Mary Queen of Scots) as Reverend Canon Chasuble, and Amanda Lawrence (Star Wars: Episode – IX The Rise of Skywalker, Angels in America) as Miss Prism.

The production features set and costume design by Rae Smith, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Nicola T. Chang, composition by DJ Walde, movement direction by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, and casting by Alastair Coomer CDG.

A farce that never grows old

This is one of the best-loved British comedy plays... ever. The humour resonates down the decades from the 1890s, arriving in the 2020s just as fresh and exciting. Made into three movies and on stage more or less constantly somewhere in the world, it explores the tail end of the strict Victorian era, a time when appearances meant everything. Oscar Wilde laughed at the social conventions of the times, a risky business considering he was busy flouting them, openly homosexual at a time when it was illegal to be gay.

The story reflects the times perfectly. Jack and Algernon are rich and posh. Jack lives quietly and respectably in the countryside. But he's bored silly. He has created a fictional little brother who he uses as an excuse to go to London and have a good time. His friend Algy, who lives in London, has also created a handy imaginary friend, poorly 'Bunbury', who he visits in the countryside whenever he wants to avoid a dull social occasion.

Jack wants to marry Algy's cousin Gwendolen but her mum Lady Bracknell doesn't approve since Jack was abandoned as a baby in a handbag at Victoria station, parents and background unknown. Algy, who is pretending to be called Ernest, visits Jack, meets Cecily and falls in love. But when Jack decides to tell everyone Ernest is dead, things start to go horribly, hilariously wrong.

Playing at Lyttelton - National Theatre

South Bank, London, SE1 9PX GB (venue info)

Lyttelton - National Theatre Directions
Performance Times
Mon - 19:30
Tue - 19:30
Wed 14:30 19:30
Thu - 19:30
Fri - 19:30
Sat 14:30 19:30
Sun - -
The Importance Of Being Earnest news
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The Importance of Being Earnest Review

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