Click here!


Theatre Review: The Importance of Being Earnest ***

Joy Watters reviews 'a pleasant little dander in these dark days'.

Perth takes us for a walk on the Wilde side for its spring production with his well-loved Trivial Comedy for Serious People. It's a pleasant little dander in these dark days.

The 1895 satire on the manners of the Victorian upper-class is directed by Perth's Lu Kemp, who creates a chamber version of the original with a cast of just five actors for nine roles, a clever compact set but a surprisingly muted feel to some of the performances.

Familiarity breeds content with both the anticipation and utterance of Oscar Wilde's epigrams. However, the action and delivery is somewhat low key for most of the first half. Arch snob Lady Bracknell is played by great Scottish comic actor Karen Dunbar, who does a fantastic killer look and nostril flare at her inferiors but is somewhat restrained in her verbal admonitions.

One can almost feel the audience urging her on to louder things for these pearls uttered in a snooty Kelvinside accent. It is only in the latter stages that the work takes off, culminating in a hilariously camp finale with La Cage Aux Folles' anthem, I Am What I Am, hinting at a broader theme to Wilde's comedy.

Man about town Algernon (Grant O'Rourke) is the first toff we meet, a man who uses an invented persona to get him out of wearisome social duties. His chum Jack inhabits two personae, one for town, one for country.

O'Rourke is outstanding as Algie, creating a charming and engaging poseur in a hilarious performance with some lovely physical comedy along the way. The action moves between town and country, with Jamie Vartan's set design complemented by Ben Ormerod's lighting creating delightful interiors and exteriors.

Run ended.

Tags: theatre

Comments: 0 (Add)

To post a comment, you need to sign in or register. Forgotten password? Click here.

Find a show

Search the site

Find us on …

Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on YouTube