The Importance of Being Earnest is Wilde's excellent comedy of manners, marriage and mis-identy, with some points as pertinent now as when it was first staged in 1895.

The plot revolves around the farcical situations two men around town get themselves into by leading double lives and trying to marry the girls they love. Secrets and lies lead to deeper misunderstandings making the situation rush from sublime to ridiculous as their double lives get ever more complicated and characters make startling discoveries about both their lives.

Tom Butcher is amiable Jack, Ernest ,the child left in Victoria Station. Jim Alexander is Algy Moncrieff, also Ernest, who is intended to supply the most laughs and manages that in bucket loads. Gerry Hinks' physical comedy while Merryman serves tea is hilarious; Corrinne Wicks and Fiona Organ shine in their love-hate double act as Gwendolen and Cecily.

For me the star of the show was undoubtedly Becky Hindley shining as Lady Bracknell, but we were so cheated that she never got to utter the immortal “a handbag?” Her pronunciation was superb as she acted Wilde's witty observations.

This is a wonderful and faithful version of the classic tale with beautiful scenery, costumes and fabulous music played in the auditorium before the show starts and during the two intervals. I would recommend a trip to Darlington to see it.