The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde remains one of the best loved and best known plays in the English language. For their 80th anniversary year Peterborough Playgoers present a ‘new’ version with a twist at the John Clare Theatre.
A well-established amateur dramatic company are celebrating an anniversary. Their members meet together in the garden of a country house to decide on their next production and who will play the parts. Disagreements and old feuds emerge and some of the actors are a little mature to take the roles they first played 30 years previously.
Thus, they unveil their version of Wilde’s classic play in which Jack and Algie both want to be called Ernest, Cecily and Gwendolen find that their diary entries are more sensational than real life and Lady Bracknell wants no daughter of hers forming an alliance with a parcel! Everyone discovers that the truth is rarely pure and never simple whilst cucumber sandwiches are eaten to extinction and a handbag becomes a co-star not just a prop.
Does all end happily? Sadly not for Wilde or our fictional company, but this wonderful play concludes as perfectly as it has ever since its premiere in 1895.
Director Sandra Samwell said: “We have not touched a word of Oscar Wilde’s original play but we have added a prologue to send up, affectionately, Playgoers’ presence in Peterborough since 1935 and what amateur dramatics might really be like.”
This hilarious new ‘take’ on a classic of English Theatre is by the society that gave you an acclaimed ‘The Winslow Boy’ last year and promises an equally great ‘The Ghost Train’ by Arnold Ridley (Corporal Godfrey in ‘Dad’s Army’) at the Key Studio in September.
The Importance of Being Earnest is at the John Clare Theatre, Broadway, Peterborough, from May 13 -16.
Tickets priced at £10 are available from the Visitor Information Centre on Bridge Street. Tel: 01733 452336 or via peterboroughplaygoerssociety.com or on the door.
Anyone interested in joining the society, contact Sandra via the website.