The Importance of Being Earnest @ The New Theatre by Amy Pearson

This is a play to see in ‘Earnest’. Considering it was opening night, to my surprise; people were being turned away from the door en masse, so if you don’t want to join them, pre book your tickets. You will definitely want to see this!

‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ ingeniously portrays the antics of two friends who try to win over their love interests through literally ‘being’ Earnest. This performance was just what I expected. The costume was predictably nineteenth century; upper class pomp and the set mirrored this perfectly. Attention to detail was superb.

This genre doesn’t necessarily relate to the typical twenty- first century student, but the actors had an amazing talent at creating believable characters who certainly knew how to work the crowd; they got us involved right from the offset. We were particularly amused by Miss Prism (Frances Rylands) and Reverend Canon Chasuble’s (Robert Jones) relationship, which was simply scandalous! Not at all nineteenth century! We were fully engaged throughout; the maids and the butler became ‘Ground Force’ for five minutes; the cleverly disguised stage hands turned the entertaining room into the garden for the second half. I particularly loved the garden with the gravel paths indoors- it was stunning.

Just one little bug bear that’s all… within a garden scene, the ambience was set using a repetitive ‘bird song’ sound effect; I kind of felt as though I was watching ‘Bill Oddie’ on T.V….the actors were brilliant, so why the unnecessary distraction?

I feel this production could have been more adventurous- it could have been modernised and dynamic rather than traditional and static, but this was its appeal. It was a timeless Victorian drama. Nevertheless it isn’t around for long, so make sure you catch it before Saturday!

Amy Pearson

ArtsArts Reviews

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