Many consider The Importance of Being Earnest as Wilde’s finest piece of work and Lady Bracknell (Helen Swan) as one of his most quoted characters.
In this play, which is a hilarious look at the comedy of manners and dubious ethics among the British upper crust, Jack Worthing (Joe Wall), who lives in the country, pretends to have a younger brother, ‘Ernest,’ whose escapades frequently call Jack to London.
Algernon Moncrieff (David Pearson) pretends to have an invalid friend, ‘Bunbury,’ whose attacks call Algernon into the country whenever there is a distasteful social function in prospect. This activity Algernon refers to as ‘Bunburying’
Jack has come to town to propose to Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolyn (Rowan Denny), who knows him as ‘Ernest.’ Gwendolyn accepts, confessing she has always felt that a man named ‘Ernest’ was her fate. When Gwendolyn’s mother, Lady Bracknell, learns that Jack’s identity dates from the discovery of a baby in a large black handbag in Victoria station she refuses to consent for the marriage.
Cecily Cardew (Holly Steele) is Jacks ward and she has grown infatuated by his brother, the appearance of Algernon in the guise of the much discussed “Ernest” leads to them becoming engaged as Cecily admits, the name ‘Ernest’ has always fascinated her.