Oscar Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest has long been heralded as one of the theatre’s most iconic plays and the role of Lady Augusta Bracknell simply legendary having been portrayed by some of the greatest British actresses of our time.
Ruthless, arrogant, powerful and imposing, she is the epitome of an upper-class Victorian dowager who totally embodies the repressive values of the day. A social climber, she systematically excludes those from her own former lower-class whom she feels no longer fit in with her current standing.
All of this proves particularly problematic when two bachelors. John ‘Jack Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy Moncrieff who, bored with their opulent lifestyles, invent two alter egos both named Ernest in order to spice things up a bit! However, they soon find themselves becoming increasingly tangled in a web of deception and misadventure as they strive to court the love of their lives, Cecily and Gwendolen. Sadly for Algy, the source of his affection Gwendolen is frequently accompanied by her mother, the indomitable Lady Bracknell who is quick to impose her requirements when it comes to a worthy suitor for her daughter. With the girls both complicating matters by declaring they could love no man who wasn’t named Ernest, the plot spirals into an ever increasing pit of despair for the would be fiancés!
Directed by Edward Max, the production was performed as part of Frinton’s prestigious 75thAnniversary Summer Theatre Festival