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The Importance of Being Earnest

5
Outdoor touring production.
By Becky - 21st Jun 2024

The sun was shining in Somerset last night as Rain or Shine theatre company took to the outdoor stage for their touring production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

The cast were as radiant as the sunshine, and delivered a delightfully witty and warm version of a much-loved play. Director Jon Legg has adapted the original text well, keeping some characters from the full 4-act version while also keeping the runtime to a neat 2.5 hours including interval.

The show moves at a brisk pace, and is never dull, with the cast of five playing many different roles throughout.

As Lady Bracknell, Anthony Young is perfectly arrogant and self-centred and his line delivery makes for much hilarity. He is also tasked with playing many other roles too, and each one is distinctly different yet always funny. He is the driving force of the show, and it’s a joy to see him in action.

Pippa Meekings shines as both Gwendolen and Miss Prism, and her mannerisms really stood out for each role. Her scenes opposite Emily Tietz as Cecily were a particular highlight, with the two women perfectly in sync.

A particular bugbear of mine is when actors don’t pick up on cues quickly enough, and so it doesn’t feel like you’re watching natural conversation flow. Thankfully, the whole cast were sharp, bouncing off one another with practiced ease, and as madcap as this production is (in the best possible way), it really does feel like we’re watching it all unfold in real time.

I headed to the school room playing field in Badgworth not sure what to expect but I was utterly delighted and wholly entertained. Do try to catch the tour (across most of the UK) this summer if you can.

Becky Fuller


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