Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Importance of Being Earnest at Nottingham Playhouse

In a variety of flukes, I went yesterday to Nottingham Playhouse to see Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.
Despite feeling I knew the play from various TV and film productions, I've never actually seen it 'live' so was really looking forward to it - and it totally lived up to my expectations!

The cast were brilliant and the performance seamless - frequently having the audience bursting into laughter. Jack and Algernon horsing around with the cigarette case were amazingly well-timed and I was impressed that anyone who had a 'famous' line delivered it as if fresh and thought up at that moment.
It turned out I didn't know Being Earnest as well as I though though.. By the third act, I'd realised I had no idea how the twists and complications of the plot would sort themselves - though obviously in some way where everyone lived happy ever after. I was surprised to discover how many of Wilde's 'one-liners' came from Being Earnest - I'd assumed for example that it was Wilde himself who carried a diary to have something sensational to read, not a character in one of his plays.

A quick word of praise should go to the set designer, especially for the quick change between Acts 2 + 3.

And, after so many curious venues at Edinburgh Fringe, it was nice to be back in a proper theatre, with proper seats.



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