A Wilde night out with Ernest

The Importance of Being Earnest at Nottingham Playhouse
The Importance of Being Earnest at Nottingham Playhouse

The Importance of Being Earnest launches an eclectic autumn season at Nottingham Playhouse, when it runs from August 31-September 22.

Rightly considered one of the greatest plays in the English language, The Importance Of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde’s timeless and much -oved masterpiece.

Following his much acclaimed production of Noël Coward’s Private Lives, which starred Janie Dee and Rupert Wickham, Giles Croft directs a cast which includes Joanna Brookes as Lady Bracknell, Sam Callis as Jack Worthing, Hywel Morgan as Algernon, Rokhsaneh Ghawam-Shahidi as Gwendolen and Anjli Mohindra (West Bridgford-born star of The Sarah Jane Adventures BBC1) as Cecily.

First staged on Valentines Day 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest is generally regarded as Wilde’s finest comedy of manners and mores. The work explores the themes of concealment of identity, and the relationship between social class and the burdensome responsibilities that it brings.

On the surface, a witty and frivolous farce The Importance of Being Earnest also serves as a searing satire on the shallow vanities and hypocrisies of the rigid class-based society in which Wilde lived and was to suffer at the hands of.

Giles Croft said: “Having directed Private Lives last year, I’m very excited to be working on this great play by this other master of English language comedy. As so many people are now engaging in some form of online ‘Bunburying’, the idea of creating an imagined world of freedom from constraints feels as fresh as ever.”

Picking up on this idea of ‘online Bunburying’, digital artists The Cutting Room are presenting Dual, part of a digital exhibition taking place at the Playhouse from September 5-October 30, in response to the themes in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Nottingham Playhouse’s production is complemented by the studio production of Lady Bracknell’s Confinement. Stephanie Sirr directs and John Elkington stars as Lady Augusta Bracknell (nee Fairfax) in Paul Doust’s beautifully observed and darkly humorous exposé of the terrible consequences of a lifetime of deceit.

Finally, Nottingham Playhouse would be delighted to hear from anyone called Ernest or who has Ernest as a middle name or surname. All those that get in touch will be invited to attend a performance of the play with all the other Ernests. People can get in touch by emailing ernest@nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk or by calling 0115 947 4361 and asking to speak to David Brown.

For ticket details, contact the box office on 0115 9895555.