- June 18, 2018
It is a testament to talent that the works of Oscar Wilde survived his public humiliation, an imprisonment in 1895. Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labour in Reading Gaol for acts of gross indecency with men, a crime that was still punishable with imprisonment until the late 20th century – a fact that might come as a shock to younger readers who have grown up in a far more liberal world where homosexuality is accepted.
Rupert Everett’s film of Wilde’s last years, The Happy Prince, has just opened to critical acclaim and shows the depths of humiliation and despair that Wilde was driven to and will no doubt raise, once again, interest in the comic theatrical genius.
So where better to experience that genius than at Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT), when JW Productions present perhaps his most loved work, The Importance of Being Earnest, in the sunshine this August!
Algernon, Jack, Gwendolen and Cecily discover that the course of true love never did run smooth as town and country clash in a sparkling, frothy and ludicrous afternoon; and with the arrival of the fearsome Lady Bracknell chaos ensues as childhoods are unravelled and identities revealed.
Patric Kearns, recently cast as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, has the unenviable task of playing Lady Bracknell, a role that comes with the iconic cinematic moment when Dame Edith Evans explodes the words “A HAND-BAG” with such force that it became legendary. And as the Dame was a resident of Brighton no doubt there will be a fear that her ghost will pop along Dyke Road from her home in Wykeham Terrace to view the competition!
Director James Weisz warns us to expect cucumber sandwiches at tea and handbags at dawn!
1 – 4 August 7pm
70 mins running time
Brighton Open Air Theatre, Dyke Road, Dyke Road Park, Brighton & Hove BN3 3UD
Suitable for Age 8+
£10/£12 £8 group (10+)