The Importance of Being Earnest: A local connection to Wilde’s popular ‘trivial comedy’?

The Importance of Being Earnest is at South Hill Park from Wednesday, May 17 to Sunday, May 21

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The Importance of Being Earnest: A local connection to Wilde’s popular ‘trivial comedy’?

Bachelors John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff create alter egos named Ernest in a bid to escape their tiresome lives.

They attempt to win the hearts of two women who, conveniently, claim to only love men called Ernest.

The pair struggle to keep up with their own stories and become tangled in a tale of deception, disguise and hilarious misadventure.

The Importance of Being Earnest is one of playwright Oscar Wilde’s most renowned comedies and was first performed at St James Theatre in London in 1895.

Alastair Whatley directs this South Hill Park production and also plays the role of John ‘Jack’ Worthing.

Gwen Taylor will perform as Lady Augusta Bracknell who is the play’s foremost symbol of Victorian earnestness and the unhappiness it brings as a result.

The 78-year-old has a wealth of theatrical experience and is a familiar face on the nation’s television screens having appeared on Coronation Street as Ann Foster.

Ron McAllister, chief executive of South Hill Park, said: “Wilde is reputed to have written part of the play in the grounds of South Hill Park, while visiting Lord and Lady Haversham.

“Certainly he often named a character after the place in which he wrote his work, hence Lady Bracknell?”

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