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The Importance of Being Earnest
30 JulyAED 100
Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of Victorian manners and male privilege brought low, with a neat pun in the title that summarises the plot – Wilde subtitled it “a trivial comedy for serious people”. Idle young gentleman Algernon Moncrieff discovers that his friend Jack Worthington leads a double life: in London he’s Earnest and something of a rake, in the country he’s a sober minded uncle to his niece Cecily. As it turns out, Algernon is doing much the same: he pretends to have a sickly friend named Bunbury in the country, who he visits whenever he needs to get out of some burdensome social obligation.
But things get deliciously complicated when Jack in his ‘Earnest’ persona proposes to Gwendoline, and she accepts … largely because of his name, Earnest. And Algernon decides to check out the niece, Cecily, pretending to be Jack’s black sheep brother Earnest, and they fall for each other … but then Jack turns up in full mourning garb, because he’s decided to kill off his imaginary brother. Which is a bit awkward for Algernon, who is pretending to be the dead man.
And so it goes on, for three farcical fun-packed acts loaded with witty dialogues and ‘didn’t see that coming’ twists.
Sabiha Majgaonkar directs for Orb Theatricals; she is also acting in the play (as Lady Bracknell). Also appearing: Sidhant Singla as Algernon, Sunil Jasuja as Jack, Butool Zaidi as Gwendolen and Medha as Cecily. And worthy of mention is Rachel Kosbar, production manager and sole costume-maker – “I thought it smart to attempt ‘Victorian era adjacent’ costumes for the largest cast I have ever costumed alone”.
All in all, it’s a shame there are so few performances – 3.30 and 7.30pm on 30 and 31 July.