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
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.