The Importance of Being Earnest: Reviewed

Megan reviews another Mermaids classic.

Piano music tinkles. Old film reels of Victorian London are projected against propped-up canvases. A bookcase, a chaise-longue and a table laid for afternoon tea lie in wait. The stage was set – ready for Mermaids’ production of one of the most classic of the classic plays to be endowed with the honour of being a classic: Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

credit: mermaids

Fresh off their production of an actual classic last semester (Antigone, if you’re interested), directing duo Lorna Govan and Greta Kelly courageously took on the king of word-play and innuendo. This time choosing to keep the action in the Victorian England it was written for, they successfully pulled off telling a story that hangs on dramatic irony, paradoxes and annoyingly clever observations. Each word counts; each sentence contains a joke somewhere; and each performer must pull their weight to make these jokes land. Badly placed emphasis or unclear delivery in a Wildean play could quite easily make the carefully constructed building of dialogue come crashing down.

I must doff my figurative hat, then, to the actors who navigated these words so well. I don’t envy them having to learn them – at least Shakespearean verse has a rhythm to lean on. Despite this challenge, everyone had a firm grasp of their character, and, apart from a small number of expected sticky moments, delivered thoroughly rehearsed and well-crafted performances.

As young, eligible (-ish) bachelors Jack and Algernon respectively, Alex Wood and Rory Gill bounced off each other throughout the production. Their physical comedy and facial expressions stopped their performances turning into a display of how good their memory is – sometimes actors do forget that that’s not what acting is – even in moments where they were in the background and not delivering dialogue (another thing actors occasionally forget to do). Wood took Jack from being a potentially mildly irritating rich kid to a lovesick, impertinent but oddly endearing rich kid, whilst Gill’s “Algie” always had an air of childish mischievous, capturing the sense of fun that gives the play life.

credit: mermaids

Their lovers, Gwendolyn and Cecily, appeared in due course in the forms of Ellie Hope and Flora Smith. As the former, Hope was haughty, inscrutable and fickle, sweeping about in stylish gowns as poor Jack pined after her. In contrast to this capable and even cunning woman, Smith’s Cecily appeared harmless, inexperienced and frivolous. Yet, she was equally observant and self-assured, and these two seemingly opposite women were believable as friends as they stalked off arm in arm after a tiff with their hapless lovers. Weirdly, the characters all nearly had better platonic chemistry with their friend than they did romantically with their lover, and I’m also sort of ok with that. It’s not really a love story, after all.

The most sweeping romance was in fact between the Reverend Chasuble and Miss Prism, Cecily’s governess. Isobel Sinclair was the stand-out comedic performance of the night, despite playing a supporting character. She found humour in every moment, and Timo Marchant’s bashful minister provided a wonderful foil with many funny moments of his own.

Alec Csukai appeared in drag as formidable Aunt Augusta, who rather reminded me of Aunt Adelaide in “Nanny McPhee” (in a good way). A stiff-upper-lip approach suited the character well and made her occasional outbursts hilarious, but also meant a few missed opportunities elsewhere (but that’s more of a shame than an issue). A special mention also to Wilf Wheatley who deftly played not one but two butlers, distinguished from each other by a stick-on moustache. I know it was stick-on because it had to be torn off about 30 seconds after Wheatley walked onstage, in a lovely testament to the unpredictability of theatre.

Complemented by elegant costumes and a naturalistic set design which placed the interior of the house onstage and the garden in front of the stage, the simple approach, effective physical comedy and the performers’ attention to detail allowed the wit of the script to shine. This production did the play justice, which must surely mean something coming from this Wilde fan.

credit: mermaids

Comments

comments

390 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Earnest: Reviewed

  1. BalMorex Pro is an exceptional solution for individuals who suffer from chronic joint pain and muscle aches. With its 27-in-1 formula comprised entirely of potent and natural ingredients, it provides unparalleled support for the health of your joints, back, and muscles. https://balmorex-try.com/

  2. Onlayn bahis platformalar? ?ld? etmek gordum a gudm?k icind? b?y?nm? dunyada, qurban verm?k istifad?cil?r? istirak rahatl?g? bir s?ra evl?rind?n v? ya yoldan qumar oyunlar?n?n formalar?. Bu platformalar ad?t?n t?klif etm?k bir genis menzil Idman bahisl?ri, kazino oyunlar? v? daha cox da daxil olmaqla seciml?r. Uymaq Qumar?n oldugu Az?rbaycandak? istifad?cil?r g?rgin T?nziml?n?n, onlayn platformalar t?min etm?k bir prospekt m?sgul olmaya bil?c?k f?aliyy?tl?rd? lutfkar movcud boyunca munt?z?m varl?q.

    Az?rbaycanda qumar oyunu birind? movcuddur s?s bozluq. Is? mu?yy?n T?yin olunmus ?razil?rd? qumar oyunlar?n?n formalar? icaz? verilir, onlayn qumar kommutator qaydalar? il? uzl?sir. Bu nazirlik var ?s?bi olcul?ri ?ng?l D?niz bahis veb saytlar?na giris, ancaq muxt?lif Az?rbaycanl?lar h?tta qorxutmaq ucun beyn?lmil?l platformalar bir goz qumar ehtiyaclar?. Bu a yarad?r cag?r?s etm?k m?qs?dl? Az?rbaycan bazar?na uygun onlayn bahis xidm?tl?ri.

    1WIN AZ?RBAYCAN https://1win-qeydiyyat-az2.top/ A olsayd? s?lahiyy?t verm?k Onlayn bahis ?hkam Az?rbaycanl? istifad?cil?r? yem?k ist?rdimi qadir t?klif etm?k bir heterogenlik Xususiyy?tl?r v? t?klifl?r dem?k olar ki, eynidir dig?rin? qit?l?raras? platformalar. Bunlar ola bil?r qucaqlamaq Idman bahisin? m?shur Dunyadak? hadis?l?r, a tutma yuvalardan tutmus kazino oyunlar?ndan real distribyutor t?crub? v? bonuslar v? promosyonlar c?km?k v? saxlamaq must?ril?r?.

    Mobil Uygunluq olard? r?is bel? ki istifad?cil?r? yem?k t?r?find? ucun punt ustund? lavabondan hakim, il? platforma iltifat mobil dostluq veb sayt v? ya xususi bir t?tbiq. Od?nis seciml?ri d? olard? muxt?lif, yerlik bir nec? ustunlukl?r v? t?min edir t?hluk?siz ?m?liyyatlar. ?lav? olaraq, patron d?st?k verm?k ?zm?k m?hk?m?y? verm?k bir ?ncamc? rol Unvanda istehlakc? sorgular v? t?min etm?k kom?k N? laz?m olduqda.

    Onlayn bahis platformalar? olmaq rahatl?q v? zahir, Budur l?yaq?tli Xeyrin? istifad?cil?r m?sq etm?k n?sih?t v? yer m?suliyy?tl?. M?suliyy?tli kimi qumar t?dbirl?ri bank M?hdudiyy?tl?r v? ozunu istisna seciml?ri, olmal?d?r yax?nl?qdak? ucun kom?k etm?k istifad?cil?r etm?k onlar?n bahis f?aliyy?ti v? k?narlasmaq g?l?c?k z?r?r verm?k. Yan?nda t?min etm?k a z?h?rli olmayan v? xos bahis ?razi, "1" kimi platformalarBirinci yer? nail olmaq Az?rbaycan "ed? bil?rdi yem?k adland?rark?n az?rbaycanl? istifad?cil?rin ehtiyaclar?na ?lverisli Qaydalar v? t?blig vicdans?z qumar t?crub?l?ri.

  3. Neuro-Thrive is a brain health supplement that claims to promote good memory and thinking skills and better quality sleep. This nootropic supplement achieves its cause with its potent blend of natural compounds and extracts that are proven to be effective in sharpening mental acuity. https://neurothrive-web.com/

  4. Cerebrozen is an excellent liquid ear health supplement purported to relieve tinnitus and improve mental sharpness, among other benefits. The Cerebrozen supplement is made from a combination of natural ingredients, and customers say they have seen results in their hearing, focus, and memory after taking one or two droppers of the liquid solution daily for a week. https://cerebrozen-try.com/

  5. Keravita Pro™ is a dietary supplement created by Benjamin Jones that effectively addresses nail fungus and hair loss, promoting the growth of healthier and thicker nails and hair. The formula is designed to target the underlying causes of these health issues and provide comprehensive treatment. https://keravitapro-web.com

  6. Arctic blast is a powerful formula packed with natural ingredients and can treat pain effectively if you’re struggling with chronic pain. You can say goodbye to muscle cramps with this natural pain reliever in less than a minute. It helps with arthritic pain, blood circulation, and joint pain. It gives long-lasting effects that replace the need to go to surgery. https://arcticblast-web.com

  7. PotentStream is designed to address prostate health by targeting the toxic, hard water minerals that can create a dangerous buildup inside your urinary system It’s the only dropper that contains nine powerful natural ingredients that work in perfect synergy to keep your prostate healthy and mineral-free well into old age. https://potentstream-web.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE STAND