Theatre Review: The Importance of Being Earnest at the Grand Opera House Belfast

The Original Theatre companies production of The Importance of Being Earnest is witty,charming and hilarious. Being one of my favourite Oscar Wilde productions I waited with bated breathe to see what direction this production would take last night and I was not disappointed.

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My last viewing of this play was with an all male cast which added to the hilarious absurdity of the piece but this time I was transported back to the original Victorian era and no gender swaps (neither direction being a bad thing but I’m always interested to see how far the director is willing to change/challenge the characters/actors.) I was transported to a luscious decadent set complete with chandeliers and hanging baskets. The cast emerged in the most amazing large and outrageous costumes full of feathers and detail I was especially enamoured with the bustle on the back of Lady Bracknell’s dress which made this larger than life character physically larger and a much more formidable force to be reckoned with and the character played with aplomb by national treasure Gwen Taylor, was certainly that.

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The genius of Wilde’s script with its perfect one liners and punch lines kept the audience giggling throughout the three act production. The actors at first a little meek and quiet on stage (audience members remarked they were hard to hear) soon relaxed into their roles and the pace and delivery of the lines came up to speed.Special mention should go out to the humorous facial reactions by Susan Penhaligon who played the down beaten, accident prone but love struck Miss Prism.

A thoroughly enjoyable production with a well-versed and talented cast I would highly recommend checking this one out  before the end of its very short run this Saturday 24th February.

Emer D xx

Limited tickets available at http://www.goh.co.uk

 

 

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