The Importance of being Earnest - Review

A riveting, hilarious performance of Oscar Wilde's classic, the importance of being Earnest 

The Importance of being Earnest - Review

I didn’t know what to expect when going into the Importance of being Earnest performance. I was kind of familiar with Oscar Wilde, in that I knew his name. I had vaguely heard of the performance before but didn’t know anything about it at all. I wasn’t familiar with the story, the characters, anything. As I said, I had heard the name, new he was an old scriptwriter and so went in expecting something overly serious, drab and dreary, as a lot of productions were during the late 1800s to the mid 1900s.

So, when I tell you that the Importance of being Earnest was made into a pantomime-esc comedy show with audience interaction, the use of on stage foley, only 4 actors doing an incredible job in multi rolling through every character within the piece, I’m not going to lie, I wouldn’t have believed me either. And it worked.

Every single thing about the performance worked, down to the last, minute detail. The Pantaloons (the production company) really knew how to make a comedy out of anything. I could see the full original story, inklings of the seriousness that would be present in the original script, and it was all incredible.

The performances throughout were amazing, and the actors all did a great job at creating the sense of comedy, my personal favourite being Madeline Hatt as Lady Bracknell, offering a great comedic performance with a hilarious voice that gave a great exaggerated caricature of a controlling, overbearing mother.

The musical sections were hilarious, and played so well for laughs, with the use of foley and live performance working brilliantly to fit the overall vibe of the piece; every actor’s voice was also incredible, and they all sounded great. I’m surprised none of them have been picked up by a recording studio!

However, I could also see from a particular viewpoint how certain audiences may not like the interpretation. I personally am not a huge fan of remakes or spoofs (sometimes) and so could understand that something like this would not be everybody’s cup of tea, and in all honesty, it was not the kind of performance I was expecting, and so there is a possibility that not everyone might enjoy the piece. But it was not a problem with this audience: every joke hit, and I don’t think there was one time when they all weren’t laughing at almost all of the jokes and punchlines within, but I could understand if someone came out and didn’t enjoy it, but that would be their own problem!

Overall, I loved it, and would recommend it to anyone who were curious about going to see a piece by the Pantaloons, as if I remember correctly, they mentioned they were touring around the UK over the summer months, and if possible, I would very much like to go and see them again. If you happen to not enjoy comedic remakes of classics, then the show may not be for you. To every other person who happens to read this, please go and watch a show by the Pantaloons. They really are incredible. And you have the option to buy a cool shirt at the end of the performance, so it’s a win win.


Elliot Thomas

Elliot Thomas

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