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The Importance of Being Earnest: A Musically Mad Mini-Version

Earnest, Ernest, adjective and noun, He was Jack in the country, and Ernest in town!

England, 1895. Jack Worthing is a frightfully naughty man. His family in the country has no idea he goes for benders in the city under the alias of Ernest. Only his cad of a friend Algernon is privy to such information. And Algy has some duel-identity tactics of his own that he’s about to deploy to seduce Jack’s ward Cecily. It’s just not cricket, what, what? Class, manners and love come under the microscope in Oscar Wilde’s most famous play, which has been regularly performed ever since its opening 118 years ago.

In this shortened version, the play has been ramped up, furnished with puppetry, added songs, references to Ibooks, Twitter and Lance Armstrong for modern minds, yet maintains the essence of sparkling Victorian humour that Wilde was famous for. All the famous quotes (“To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, could be considered unfortunate. To lose both seems like carelessness.”) and scenes are given their full value and the basic plot will remain unchanged. It is, in essence, still Wilde’s play and adapted in a delightfully irreverent style that he surely would have approved.

The play is used in schools as both an English text and in Drama, as an example of Victorian Melodrama and Comedy of Manners. As it is an historic text, a lively in-school performance would prove invaluable to teachers trying to bring this text to life for their students.

Performed in 2015 by Zak Enayat, Rebekah Head, Nick Goudie, Emma Cusdin, Olly Humphries and Kieren Kleinschmidt
Written by Oscar Wilde, adapted by Dan Allan and Directed by Dan Bain

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