Monday, 10 October 2011

12:37 The Importance of Being Incredulous.

Friday 7th October 2011 - The Importance of Being Ernest, East Kilbride Arts Centre

• John (Jack) Worthing- David Kirkwood
• Algernon Moncrieff- Conor Meechan
• Lady Bracknell- Vikki England
• Cecily Cardew- Claire Marshall
• Gwendolen Fairfax- Joanne Cochrane
• Miss Prism- Mags White
• Lane- Matthew Quinn
• Merriman- Daniel Cropp

Last weekend at the invitation of a friend, your humble narrator braved the grim surroundings and weather of his (un)beloved home(new)town to take in a night of breaking legs and treading boards. A common Friday night pastime in East Kilbride one would imagine, there is however more than meets the eye.  A trivial comedy for serious people to be exact in shape of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Ernest" staged at the East Kilbride Arts Centre by local theatre group Studio 32.

Before I continue - a confession.
As much as I am aware of the delightful Mr Wilde's tale of confused identities, salacious Victorian satire, cucumber sandwiches and incredulous "handbag line" deliveries I have never actually read the play all the way through. I had watched the 1952 film however many eons ago, and remember it being as dry and fun as eating a bucket of sand.  Friday night's performance however, sparkled with an energy and a rapport between the young cast that brought the rapid and at times hilariously funny dialogue to life.
David Kirkwood and Connor Meechan excelled as the caddish men about town Jack "Ernest" Worthington and Algernon "Ernest" Moncrieff who use grand deception and buffoonery in an attempt to not only butter their crumpets, but eat them also. All the while having to negotiate mistaken identity, battleaxe mother in laws, petulant fiancées, phantom siblings, handbag related child abandonment issues and a distinct failure in the art of "Bunbury-ing" to achieve their goals and find true love.
Never missing a beat, even in the face of prop malfunctions (a flying plate of cucumber sandwiches to be exact - "WELL I'M NOT GOING TO EAT THEM NOW"), the cast played up this trivial satire of Victorian society perfectly and with gusto.

Sharp, witty, funny and not for a moment taking themselves seriously.
Wilde would approve.

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