The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde - directed by Gill Reid

Wednesday 14th to Saturday 17th November 2012

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People was first performed on 14 February 1895 at St. James's Theatre in London. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play.

Jack fails to impress Lady Bracknell
Algy teases Jack

Jack Worthing, the play’s protagonist, is a pillar of the community in Hertfordshire, where he is guardian to Cecily Cardew, the pretty, eighteen-year-old granddaughter of the late Thomas Cardew, who found and adopted Jack when he was a baby. In Hertfordshire, Jack has responsibilities: he is a major landowner and justice of the peace, with tenants, farmers, and a number of servants and other employees all dependent on him.

Lane serves Algy a celebratory glass of sherry
Miss Prism attempts to teach Cecily her German grammar

For years, he has also pretended to have an irresponsible black-sheep brother named Ernest who leads a scandalous life in pursuit of pleasure and is always getting into trouble of a sort that requires Jack to rush grimly off to his assistance. In fact, Ernest is merely Jack’s alibi, a phantom that allows him to disappear for days at a time and do as he likes.

Miss Prism and Dr Chasuble in the garden
Merriman gives Cecily a visitors card

Jack is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax, the cousin of his best friend, Algernon Moncrieff and daughter of the formiddable Lady Bracknell.

Cecily meets an interesting stranger
Jack returns home unexpectedly

This well-loved play, full of wit and charm, is always a joy to watch.

Gwendolen quizzes Jack
Lady Bracknell corrects Jack and Gwendolen

You can also read a review of the play.