Often described as ‘one of the funniest plays in the English language’, Oscar Wilde’s superb satire on Victorian manners is guaranteed to have Newcastle audiences laughing out loud.
The play concerns the lives of two bachelor friends, upper crust dandy Algernon Moncrieff and the most reliable John Worthing J.P. who lead double lives to court the attentions of the desirable Gwendolyn Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. The gallants must then grapple with the uproarious consequences of their ruse, and with the formidable Lady Bracknell, played by David Suchet.
David is one of Britain’s most respected actors on stage and screen; he is winner of an International Emmy award, has been nominated for numerous Olivier, Tony and BAFTA awards throughout his career, and was awarded the CBE in 2010. David is best known for his role as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Poirot. He has recently completed all 74Poirot TV films, which is the whole canon of Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories.
But leaving the famous Frenchman behind and stepping into the shoes of a woman was an offer that concerned the actor at first: “I agreed to the idea with slight trepidation but once I’d looked into it and realised that such notable actors as Brian Bedford on Broadway and Geoffrey Rush in Australia had played Lady Bracknell, I could see that I’d be following in a line of leading male performers and I felt more comfortable.”
David will be joined on stage by Michelle Dotrice (playing Miss Prism), who many audience members will know from her TV appearances as long-suffering wife Betty in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and more recently on stage as Mrs Wilberforce in the touring production of The Ladykillers.
The Importance of Being Earnest also stars Emily Barber as Gwendolen Fairfax, Michael Benz as John Worthing, Philip Cumbus as Algernon Moncrieff, Imogen Doel as Cecily Cardew and Richard O’Callaghan as Reverend Canon Chasuble.
The show is directed by Adrian Noble, former artistic director at the RSC where his productions included: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (Stratford, Barbican), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stratford, Barbican and Broadway) and The Secret Garden(Stratford, London). Noble’s extensive list of other directing credits includes The Captain of Kopenick for the National, The King’s Speech in the West End, Cosi Fan Tutti at the Opera De Lyon, Brand by Ibsen starring Ralph Fiennes and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at The London Palladium starring Michael Ball.
The Importance of Being Earnest appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Mon 8 – Sat 13 June 2015 (Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinees: Thur 2pm and Sat 2.30pm). Tickets from £14.50 (Save 50p per ticket by booking online). Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk.