The Importance of being Earnest – or David!

Just a quick note about a play soon to be at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, but which I have already seen at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

Yes, I admit that my impulse to book seats for this production stemmed from too many hours spent watching Poirot on tv, but also from the excellent programmes David Suchet has done on Christian saints. Peter really enjoyed his autobiography too, which details the filming of all the stories.

I wondered if the entire production would be geared to his appearances as Lady B, but I need not have been concerned. Yes, he was greeted by applause at his first entry, but quite honestly he was excellent in a very good production.The costume and makeup was entirely convincing, and he does so much with just a look or gesture that it was a really enjoyable performance. The highlight was not the “handbag” line but when he sat, retrieved a notebook and flipped it open in a very “Poirot” manner. It was  a really memorable performance.

It would be remiss not to say that the rest of the actors in this production were very enthusiastic and more than rose to the challenge of a star performance. I thought that Philip Cumbus did a great job as Algernon, all activity and interest. Imogen Doel was completely convincing as a impulsive  Cecily who said a lot with movement and gesture. My resident expert said that Richard O’Callaghan was a model clergyman. I thought that Michele Dotrice got every particle of humour from the part of Miss Prism, and overall the play was very well performed. Other people who managed to get tickets also really enjoyed it, especially the competitive eating at the end of the second Act.

This is one of these plays where half the audience knew the lines well, but nevertheless it’s a really enjoyable production which looks and sounds brilliant!


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