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The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest, is both humorous and lighthearted. Set in England, it is one of Wilde’s best-loved works.

Jack Worthing is the protagonist of The Importance of Being Earnest. When he was an infant, he was found at Victoria Station in a black handbag, apparently abandoned. The man who found him, Thomas Cardew, adopts Jack and raises him as his own.  Jack ultimately becomes the guardian of Thomas Cardew’s 18-year-old niece, Cecily.

Jack becomes an upstanding citizen in his community, but little does anyone know, he lives a double life. He pretends to have a brother in London named ‘Ernest,’ a wild, unprincipled man. Jack visits London regularly to set his brother straight, so he says. In reality, Jack is living a double life in London, much wilder than anyone back home could imagine, and he actually calls himself ‘Ernest’ when he is in London. His double life allows him to have some breathing room from his moral responsibilities back home.

Jack explains himself by saying, ‘When one is placed in the position of guardian, one has to adopt a very high moral tone on all subjects. It’s one’s duty to do so. And as a high moral tone can hardly be said to conduce very much to either one’s health or one’s happiness, in order to get up to town I have always pretended to have a younger brother of the name of Ernest, who lives in the Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes’. As the plot unfolds,  Jack feels it is time to let his alias die, or so he thinks!

Multiple characters enter the production with surprising and hilarious consequences. Even if occasionally the mood seems closer to productions other than by than Oscar Wilde, this is a thoroughly enjoyable production that begins in London’s fashionable West End. It continues to move through circumstances that will delight all who watch as the characters and the plot unfold.

SHOW DATES – March 16, 17 & 23, 24, 25