Wednesday, October 10, 2018

'The Importance of Being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde

10 October 2018

On Tuesday we were at the Odeon in Milton Keynes to watch the live broadcast of the Classic Spring Theatre Company’s production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde from the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is such a perfect play you really don’t need to do much to it and Michael Fentiman’s production was thankfully sparing in terms of tricksy interpretations or additions. Sophie Thompson was a great Lady Bracknell – all the more menacing for being a little under-stated. Her “a handbag!” neatly avoided Edith Evans by almost swallowing the words in stunned disbelief (though she did try to have her cake and eat it by allowing herself the full Evans every other time the word “handbag” occurred!). My favourite scene is always the first encounter between Cecily and Gwendolen in the garden, and Fiona Button and Pippa Nixon did not disappoint. The play is full of wonderful quotable lines but you can’t beat: “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ is always a delight and it is particularly lovely to hear the reaction of people in the audience who clearly haven’t seen the play before.

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