Theatre News

Sharon D Clarke, Ncuti Gatwa and more to star in National Theatre’s The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde’s classic comes to the National Theatre

Ncuti Gatwa and Sharon D Clarke, headshots supplied by the production

The National Theatre has unveiled plans for a new production of Oscar Wilde’s comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, set to grace the Lyttelton Theatre from 20 November 2024 to 25 January 2025.

Helmed by director Max Webster in his National Theatre debut, the production’s cast features Richard Cant (Stan & Ollie, Mary Queen of Scots) as Reverend Canon Chasuble, Sharon D Clarke (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Doctor Who) as the iconic Lady Bracknell, Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who, Sex Education) as Algernon Moncrieff, Amanda Lawrence (Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, Angels in America) as Miss Prism, and Hugh Skinner (W1A, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) as Jack Worthing. Additional casting will be announced in due course.

Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, said: “It is a joy to be welcoming Max Webster in his National Theatre directorial debut with a new production of Oscar Wilde’s hilariously subversive comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. Max has assembled an extraordinary cast to reimagine one of our greatest comedies, with Ncuti Gatwa making his National Theatre debut.

“We are also delighted to welcome back Richard Cant, Amanda Lawrence, Hugh Skinner, and Sharon D Clarke, who is returning to play one of Wilde’s most iconic roles – Lady Bracknell.”

It will have set and costume design by Rae Smith, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound design by Nicola T Chang, composition by DJ Walde, and movement direction by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille. Alastair Coomer handles casting.

The show joins the previously announced Ballet Shoes at the National Theatre for the festive season.

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