Review: The Importance of Being Earnest, Parish Hall Ringinglow Road

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Jonathan Vinson stars as Jack Worthing and directs Oscar Wilde’s farcical comedy.

Vinson is good, upstanding Jack in the country, a good example to his young ward, Cecily. However when he visits the city to see his best friend Algernon and fiancée Gwendolen, he assumes the identity of imaginary libertine brother Ernest. Thus begins much titular wordplay. Algernon hatches a plan to meet Cecily.

Algernon leads a similar double life, escaping to the country to visit his invalid friend ‘Bunbury’ to avoid ghastly social engagements.

Wilde’s witty script keeps the pace going through four acts and besides some minor opening night jitters, the actors deliver the lines well with good comic timing.

Algernon, played by Dan Adamson, claims marriage kills romance. He despairs of women flirting in public with their husbands. Nobody wants to see couples wash their clean linen in public.

When Judith Moore’s Lady Bracknell interviews Jack for Gwendolen’s hand in marriage, she is glad he smokes, since a man should have an occupation but thinks him careless to have lost both parents.

The interaction between Laura Alston as Gwendolen and ETC debutante Natalie Clark as Cecily is one of the treats of the show. They go from liking one another to hating one another in the space of five minutes when they erroneously think they are both engaged to the same man, Ernest.

The set and wardrobe team need a special mention for great scenery design and period costumes.