Ridiculusmus Reduce Wilde Earnest to Two-handerDate: 2 June 2005
Another month, another all-male Importance of Being Earnest. But whereas May’s outing of Oscar Wilde’s 1895 classic satire at Bristol Vic featured a company of only men, Ridiculusmus’ production in June at the Barbican features a company of only two men.
Billed as “a trivial comedy performed by two serious people”, the new Importance of Being Earnest is a co-commission between the Barbican and the Ridiculusmus double act, aka David Woods and Jon Haynes (pictured) who divide all of the play’s nine roles between them. Following its Australian tour, the new version receives its UK premiere at The Pit, where it runs from 9 June to 9 July 2005 (preview 8 June), before embarking on a UK tour.
In Wilde's satire about manners and morals, prim-and-proper Jack Worthington is in love with the equally prim-and-proper Gwendoline Fairfax. His friend, Algernon Moncrieff is in love with Cecily Cardew. But both Gwendolyn and Cecily are in love with Ernest. A happy outcome depends upon the formidable Lady Bracknell’s investigations into the whereabouts of a handbag and the question of who is really being earnest.
The Importance of Being Earnest is directed by former West Yorkshire Playhouse artistic director Jude Kelly, who’s currently chairing the London 2012 Olympic bid’s Arts, Culture and Education Advisory Committee. Kelly’s English National Opera revival of Leornard Bernstein’s Broadway musical On the Town has just finished its extended season at the London Coliseum.
Ridiculusmus has had previous hits at the Barbican with Ideas Me, Say Nothing and Yes Yes Yes. The new production is designed by Zoe Atkinson, with lighting by Jo Currey.
- by Terri Paddock