Earnest Returns to West End with RoutledgeDate: 15 November 2000
The Chichester Festival production of Oscar Wilde's 1895 social satire, The Importance of Being Earnest, starring Patricia Routledge, returns to the West End in January to cap off a year of Wilde centenary celebrations. It will open at the Savoy Theatre on 17 January 2001.
Wilde's last and perhaps most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest tells the complicated story of Victorian love and manners. Jack Worthing is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax, daughter of the formidable Lady Bracknell and cousin to his friend Algernon Moncrieff. Meanwhile, Cecily, Jack's young ward, is in love with Algernon. The question of Jack's parentage, an illusory invalid and the invention of a wayward brother all complicate things further.
Patricia Routledge returns as Lady Bracknell, the only member of the original cast. A veteran stage actress, Routledge has regularly appeared in productions for the National and the RSC as well as in the West End. Her portrayal of Hyacinth Bucket in the BBC series Keeping Up Appearances earned her the title of Top Television Comedy Actress for 1991. She also starred in the series Hetty Wainthrop Investigates.
The Importance of Being Earnest was a hit during Chichester's 1999 summer Festival season. It then transferred to the West End's Theatre Royal Haymarket where it ran for three months from August to November 1999. Since then, it has been touring in Australia and New Zealand.
The Importance of Being Earnest is directed by Christopher Morahan and designed by Peter Rice, with lighting by Robert Bryan and sound by John Leonard.