The Importance of Being Earnest
19 - 26 March 2022
|Audition||Thu 18 November 2021||7:30pm||Foyer|
Written by Oscar Wilde and Directed by Tony Bannister
Audition Date; Thursday 18 November, 7:30pm.
Performance Dates; Saturday 19 - Saturday 26 March 2022
First performed in 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest is an expose of the conventions, repressions and hypocrisy of life in late Victorian London Society, from which Oscar Wilde suffered so mercilessly. It is irreverent, mischievous and loaded with hidden meaning, yet stylish, lyrical and lightly crafted with skill and precision. “A trivial comedy for serious people.”
Rev Canon Chasuble, D.D. Inveterately but reluctantly celibate, with a past that is, to him, frustratingly transparent.
Laetitia Prism A governess. An alleged spinster, with a past that only she knows in full…
Lady Bracknell A pillar of London drawing room society. Dominant, overpowering. Doggedly ignorant of the concept of not getting her own way.
The hon. Gwendolyn Fairfax Daughter of Lady Bracknell. In training to become her mother’s successor, a role in which she will certainly thrive. In pursuit of Jack, a man she believes she will be able to dominate in the way her mother dominates her hapless, and unseen, father.
John Worthing J.P. (Jack) A foundling of unknown provenance adopted by a man of means. He has used his natural charm and innocent guile to find his position in society. In love with Gwendoline, a match he knows will secure that position. Cecily Cardew Jack’s adoptive niece and ward. Has grown up at Jack’s home in the country. On the surface, innocent and trusting. However, she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it.
Algernon Moncrieff Nephew to Lady Bracknell. Jack’s closest friend, (when it suits him). An unashamed and accomplished opportunist. Determined to pursue Cecily, knowing he will succeed.
Lane Algernon’s manservant. An early Jeeves.
Merriman Jack’s butler in the country. Sees everything. Hears everything. Says nothing. Usually.
In many ways, the plot, involving the efforts of Jack and Algernon to secure successful engagements to their respective young ladies, and the eventual revelation of Jack’s true identity, is a minor player in this drama. The real star is the language. The play is a festival of pinpoint phraseology and wicked observation, demonstrating what a master of his craft Oscar Wilde really was. The text is a celebration of verbal crossfire and innuendo, written with style and panache, but also with discipline and economy. Not once does Wilde fall into the trap of self-indulgence. Therefore, in this production we will be focussing on the language. Every character makes a vital contribution to the successful delivery of Wilde’s words, (even Merriman, through the way he says very little). We will be looking to recruit actors who deliver dialogue with accuracy, precision, and attack, and who are prepared to develop characterisation through the exploration of language, and the release and control of emotion. Casting will be driven by these criteria. I am delighted that Jacqui Freeman will be working with me on this production. Her role will be to do close up work in developing the relationships between the central characters. For a discussion about any aspect of the production, and copies of the audition sections, contact Tony Bannister on 07963 firstname.lastname@example.org.