Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Production
Ridiculusmus has devised a farcical version of Oscar Wilde’s most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest, in which two actors portray the entire cast aided only by much cross-dressing and the occasional hand puppet. With cunningly precise direction by Jude Kelly, this is an interpretation that’s so flamboyant and full of Wildean wit that there’s no doubt Wilde would have loved it.

The multiple roles, which rely on an absurdist, almost schizoid performance style, are heralded by a cacophony of music genres ranging from 80s pop to nursery rhymes and Wagnerian opera – all played against a garishly kitsch Victoriana set. Toying with the ideas of performance that underlie Wilde’s dissection of 19th century British high-society, Ridiculusmus ultimately unmasks the roles that social hierarchy and status dictate.

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