Oscar Wilde wrote “I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked”, but that is not the case with the Red Lion Theatre Production of ‘The Importance of being Earnest’ which has transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket London. It is a thoroughly enjoyable production of one of Wilde’s classic comedies.
When the show started, I was slightly confused to see Algernon playing on the Wii, thinking I had brought tickets to a modern working of the play but, after the dialogue started, it was brought to my attention that this was a classic production with a modern twist. These modern twists include iphones and walkie talkies and the use of Cosmopolitan Magazine!
The set designed by Katharine Heath is elegant and the Zebra print design was fabulous. The set change after the interval was minimal and it took a while to realise that the action had moved to a country garden, but the limitations of using house plants for trees was openly acknowledged and used for extra laughs.
My only downfall with the production would be the length of time the audience was left waiting for Miss Prism to wake up in the garden. In fact several audience members shouted “wakey-wakey” and started clapping!
The cast includes Harriet Ballard, Simon Grujich, Stephanie Lane, James McNicholas, Rachel Nussbaum, Owen Roberts, Morgan Thomas and Janet Jefferies as Lady Bracknell, each one brings a unique quality to this quirky production and Morgan Thomas still has me chuckling away! This production marks the first ever West End transfer for the Old Red Lion Theatre and is directed by Artistic Director Henry Filloux-Bennett (became artistic director of the Old Red Lion Theatre in July 2010) The production is on till February 11th and is well worth a visit so make an excuse about Bunbury this week and go!
“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily”.
Theatre Royal Haymarket
18 Suffolk St
London SW1Y 4HT