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The Importance of Being Earnest


Discover one of the most famous works of Oscar Wilde as it hurls logic, love, and language into the air. Witness one of the most dazzling (and funniest) plays on stage, and enjoy the part subtle and part outrageous humour of Wilde, aptly captured by director Michael Fentiman.

Why Watch The Importance of Being Earnest

Written by perhaps one of the most celebrated authors and playwrights of all time, Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest was first performed on the 14th of February, 1895. Widely considered to be amongst the finest works of Wilde, the play is renowned for absurd themes, witty dialogue, and mockery of the Victorian society of that era. It was also the last dramatic work written by Wilde and is one of his most-loved plays. The witty production features Olivier Award-winner Sophie Thompson and Jeremy Swift in the lead roles. Their experience in starring in numerous roles set in medieval times makes them the perfect candidates for the lead characters. The star-studded cast puts up a memorable performance, and have won the approval of critics and the audiences alike. Director Michael Fentiman has wonderfully adapted the comedy, and the numerous wacky and silly scenes will leave you roaring in laughter. The subtle and sometimes obvious mockery of society in 1895 continues to be relevant to this day, making it all the more relatable and compelling!

The Story

The story follows two wealthy men, Jack and Algernon, who live double lives. Whenever they are faced with an unappealing social engagement, they use imaginary characters to excuse themselves from being forced to attend it. Jack has invented a brother named Ernest, and Algernon a chronically ill friend named Bunbury. Jack is in love with Algernon’s cousin Gwendolyn and wishes to marry her. Before that, however, he must convince Gwendolyn’s mother, the indomitable Lady Bracknell of his parents’ respectability. Being an orphan since birth, he is faced with an impossible task. Algernon visits Jack’s house in the countryside and introduces himself as Ernest, the brother of Jack. Soon, he wins the heart of Cecily, the young ward of Jack. When Jack comes home and announces the death of Ernest, an unpredictable and hilarious set of events are triggered, owing to the confusion created by the imaginary characters constructed by Jack and Algernon. Join the charming characters on an entertaining journey, as they try to ascertain their real identities. By the end, both Jack and Algernon would have truly understood the importance of being earnest!

Good for

Date Night | Comedy Lovers | Oscar Wilde Fans

Critics Reviews

“Oscar Wilde saved his best play until last and so Classic Spring Company’s acclaimed year-long Wilde season ends on the highest of highs.”
- Monstagigz

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Know Before You Go

Show Details

Show Timings

Tuesday to Saturday 7:30 PM
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 2:30 PM

1 hour and 15 minutes

Leading Roles
Sophie Thompson as Lady Bracknell
Pippa Nixon as Gwendolyn Fairfax
Jeremy Swift as Reverend Chasuble
Fiona Button as Cecily Cardew

Written by
Oscar Wilde

Directed by
Michael Fentiman

Additional Information

Suitable for ages 8 and up.

Available Facilities
Wheelchair accessible
In-house bar
Coat check

The Vaudeville Theatre has a seating capacity of 679.

Outside Food
Strictly prohibited. If you'd like to grab a meal before or after the show, check out our guide to the 30 Best Restaurants in West End.

Dress Code
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theater is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

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Strict Cancellation Policy

This experience cannot be cancelled, amended or rescheduled.

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My Tickets

You will get an email confirmation with your The Importance of Being Earnest voucher. Please display the same on your mobile phone with a valid photo ID.

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