A trivial comedy for serious people, Artefact Theatre Co. presents Oscar Wilde’s exquisitely scandalous satire on Victorian manners, The Importance of Being Earnest at the Irene Mitchell Studio – St Martin’s Theatre from 27 March 2018.
Widely considered one of the funniest plays in the English language, The Importance of Being Earnest’s witty repartee and lively piercing of hypocrisy and pomposity has now delighted theatre-goers for over a century.
Set in a world where class, society and fashion are everything; well intentioned young bachelors, friends Algernon and Jack both admit to employing different identities when residing between London and the countryside. Jack proposes to Algernon’s cousin Gwendolen while Algernon falls for Jack’s ward Cecily, and each woman falls for her supposed ‘Ernest’.
In truth, no one is particularly earnest, except the imperious Lady Bracknell who seems dedicated to resolve the comedy of errors through her social mores with acerbic wit. These gallants must grapple with mistaken identities, lovers entanglements, and the riotous consequences of their deceptions.
“At its heart, The Importance of Being Earnest is a satire of elitist values and hypocrites.”, explains Director Matthew Cox. “I’ve seen the show many times, but I’ve never seen a production that reached the levels of farcical outrageousness that I had in my head. In a way, this show is about scratching that itch.”
“Audiences be warned; this is not an Earnest where the actors sit blank faced, reciting witticism and drinking tea. This is Wilde four absinthes deep on a Friday night, filters of decorum and decency thoroughly abandoned. It’s a show packed with immensely overdressed, overeducated characters who are horny, wicked and ravenous, with physical comedy frequently reaching the absurdity of the dialogue.”
Founded in 2016, Artefact Theatre Co. is a fully independent, self-funded theatre company dedicated to producing high calibre, memorable theatre. Melbourne-based, their past productions include Seminar by Theresa Rebeck and David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Proof. This latest season promises to deliver yet another lively and entertaining night out for Melbourne theatre lovers.
Director: Matthew Cox Featuring: Cazz Bainbridge, James Cutler, Ross Dwyer, Frank Handrum, Thomas Henry Jones, Suzanne Sandow, Olivia Solomons, Mark Raymond Yeates, Costume Design: Jacqueline Day Set Design: Mark Kowalyov Stage Manager: Alexandra Knight Hair and Make Up Design: Kelsey Oberin Lighting Design: Giancarlo Salamanca Producer: Adam Porrett
The Importance of Being Earnest
Irene Mitchell Studio – St Martin’s Theatre, 28 St Martins Lane, South Yarra
Season: 27 March – 7 April 2018
Information and Bookings: www.artefacttheatre.com
Image: James Cutler as Lady Bracknell – photo by Hugo Rose