FULL CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR OSCAR WILDE’S
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
DIRECTED BY DENZEL WESTLEY-SANDERSON
ETT (English Touring Theatre), Leeds Playhouse and Rose Theatre today announce the cast for Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnestdirected by Denzel Westley-Sanderson. The cast includes Phoebe Campbell (Cecily), Valentine Hanson (Merriman/Lane), Joanne Henry (Miss Prism), Daniel Jacob (Lady Bracknell), Adele James (Gwendolen), Abiola Owokoniran (Algernon Moncrieff), Anita Reynolds (Dr. Chasuble) and Justice Ritchie (John Worthing). The production opens at Leeds Playhouse on 8 September, with previews from 5 September, and runs until 17 September, before touring to Cambridge Arts Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre, Northern Stage and Liverpool Playhouse before culminating at Rose Theatre on 12 November.
An ETT, Leeds Playhouse and Rose Theatre Production
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
by Oscar Wilde
Supported by a grant from the Royal Theatrical Support Trust
Cast: Phoebe Campbell, Valentine Hanson, Joanne Henry, Daniel Jacob, Adele James, Abiola Owokoniran, Anita Reynolds and Justice Ritchie
Directed by Denzel Westley-Sanderson; Designed by Lily Arnold; Lighting Design by Zoe Spurr; Sound Design by Beth Duke; Movement Direction by Tinovimbanashe Sibanda; Assistant Direction from Becca Chadder; Dramaturg Phillippe Cato; Casting Director Bryony Jarvis Taylor
5 September – 12 November 2022
Oscar Wilde’s genius humour meets contemporary culture in a theatrical rollercoaster packed with shade, wit and plenty of gags.
2021 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award-winner, Denzel Westley-Sanderson breathes fresh new life into Wilde’s sharpest and wittiest comedy: The Importance of Being Earnest.
This is a classic satire, vibrantly retold about dysfunctional families, class, gender and sexuality.
Phoebe Campbell plays Cecily. Their television credits include House of The Dragon. The Importance of Being Earnest is their professional theatre debut.
Valentine Hanson plays Merriman/Lane. For theatre, his work includes The Emperor’s New Clothes (Small Truth Theatre), Orpheus Descending (Theatr Clwyd), Orpheus Descending (Menier Chocolate Factory), We Anchor In Hope (The Bunker/ W14 Productions), Handfast (Nutshell Theatre), The Sisterhood (Belgrade Theatre), Hector (Eden Court/Mull Theatre), Cuming And Going (Boom at the Bush Theatre), Stopsearch (Catford Broadway Theatre), For One Night Only/Footprints In The Sand, Letting Go/Footprints In The Sand (Pursued By A Bear), Festen (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre), G.I. Burns (Forest Forge Theatre Company), The Tempest (Orange Tree Theatre), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Bill Kenwright Limited), Come With Me (Roundabout/Nottingham Playhouse), After The End Of The World (Red Ladder Theatre Company), Positive Mental Attitude (Theatre Centre), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Classic Theatre) and Racine’s Andromache (Grassy Knoll). For television, his work includes The Friday Night Project and Casualty; and for film, London Voodoo and Crucifixion Island.
Joanne Henry plays Miss Prism. For theatre, her work includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre/UK & Ireland Tour), Jane Eyre (Chapterhouse Theatre/UK & Ireland Tour), Lost For Words (Outside Edge/UK Tour), Love Moved Him to Die (Jasperian Theatre Company/UK Tour), The King and I (Newtown Abbey and Aberystwyth Rep), Sweet Charity (The Crucible, Sheffield), Raoul (New & Abused Theatre Company), Westside Story (West End & UK Tour), Oklahoma! (Grange Park Opera) and Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (The Really Useful Group). For television, her work includes Bridgerton, Vera, Pennyworth, The Salisbury Poisonings, Trigonometry and Roadkill; and for film, Wonder Woman, Last Christmas and Dogwood.
Daniel Jacob plays Lady Bracknell. Daniel has gained international recognition as his Drag Queen alter ego Vinegar Strokes, for which he has appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Eastenders, Dinner With My Ex and Drag Karaoke Club. For theatre, his work includes Death Drop (West End & UK Tour), The Pirates of Treasure Island (Stag Theatre), Begæret Mysterier (Royal Danish Theatre), Eurobeat (Turbine Theatre), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Apollo Theatre), Testosterone (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Charming Dick (Royal Vauxhall Tavern), The Macbeths (Pleasance Theatre), Angelina Ballerina (UK Tour), Aladdin (Hazlitt Theatre), Bugsy Malone (Secret Cinema), Ragtime The Musical (Landor Theatre), Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens (Theatro Technis) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour & Dubai).
Adele James plays Gwendolen. For theatre, her work includes Much Ado About Nothing (The New English Shakespeare Company), The Picture of Dorian Gray (UK Tour), Nine Night (Trafalgar Studios), #Hashtag Lightie (Arcola), Stopcock (Southwark Playhouse), Meatman (Theatre503), In The Pink (Courtyard Theatre) and Expectations (Theatre N16). For television, her work includes African Queens, Casualty, Doctors and Red Light; and for film, Acceptable Damage.
Abiola Owokoniran plays Algernon Moncrieff. The Importance of Being Earnest is Abiola’s professional debut.
Anita Reynolds plays Dr. Chasuble. For theatre, her work includesA Monster Calls (Old Vic- UK/US Tour), Bartholomew Fair, The Merry Wives Of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe), ear for eye (Royal Court), Absolute Hell (National), hang (The Other Room), The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe, Arabian Nights, Horrible Histories, Romeo & Juliet, Measure for Measure (Sherman), Speechless (Shared Experience), The Move (Made in Wales), Carers (Turning Point), Cinderella (Unicorn), Forbidden Fruit (Nottingham Playhouse), Wishful Thinking (Hijinx), Dealing with Feelings (London Bubble), How High is Up, Mirror Mirror (Theatre Centre). For television, her work includes The Birth Of Daniel F Harris, In My Skin, Relik, Keeping Faith, Casualty, Stella, Holby City, Gwaith Cartef, Talking to the Dead, Being Human, Caerdydd, Belonging, Dau Dy A Ni, Nice Day for a Welsh Wedding, Doctors, The Story of Tracy Beaker, Bay College, Nuts and Bolts, Pobol Y Cwm, The Bench and The Hull Project; and for film, I Used To Be Famous, Telling Tales, Sweet 16, Rain and Paradise Grove.
Justice Ritchie plays John Worthing. For theatre, his work includes Human Nurture (Theatre Centre) and Dear Elizabeth (Gate Theatre).
Denzel Westley-Sanderson is a theatre director and workshop facilitator. He trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, has been part of the Resident Directors’ pool at the Almeida Theatre, and was previously director of the CTC Dance Company. His theatre credits include directing Identity (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), which won the award for ‘Exciting New Work’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, co-director on Jesus Christ Superstar – The Concert (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), and associate director on Dick Whittington and Small Island (National Theatre). Denzel has also worked with the Participation team at the Donmar Warehouse on several schools’ project across London.
The Importance of Being Earnest is supported by a grant from the Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST).
THE RTST SIR PETER HALL DIRECTOR AWARD
Now in its sixth year, the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award – which honours the memory of RTST co-founder, Sir Peter Hall – is made to an up-and-coming director demonstrating exceptional directing skills in a rigorous competitive process. The scheme promotes the RTST’s charitable objectives by supporting up-and-coming theatre practitioners and British regional theatres. It is also intended to appeal to a wide range of candidates and to play a part in promoting diversity in the theatre, onstage, offstage and among audiences.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
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