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The Importance of Being Earnest - casting complete

Penelope Keith in The Importance of Being Earnest

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a two month tour, Peter Gill’s revival of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, starring Penelope Keith as Lady Bracknell, will transfer to the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre where it will run for a limited season – from January 29 (previews from January 22) to April 26, 2008.

One of the most popular plays ever written and subtitled A trivial comedy for serious people, The Importance of Being Earnest has been described as bursting with hilarious lines and extraordinary twists of fate, and sparkling with the witty dialogue of its genteel protagonists.

Prim-and-proper Jack Worthington is in love with the equally prim-and-proper Gwendolyn Fairfax. His friend, Algernon Moncrieff, is in love with Cecily Cardew. But both Gwendolyn and Cecily are in love with Ernest. Add the magnificently imposing Lady Bracknell, a nanny with a dubious story about a handbag and the result is a delightful entertainment as fresh and funny as when it was first performed in 1895.

Keith’s numerous theatre credits include Time and the Conways, Blithe Spirit, Entertaining Angels and Relatively Speaking; while on television, she has appeared in the hugely successful series The Good Life and To the Manor Born.

Joining Keith in the cast of The Importance of Being Earnest will be William Ellis, Harry Hadden-Paton, Daisy Haggard, Janet Henfrey, Maxwell Hutcheon, Rebecca Night, Roger Swaine and Tim Wylton.

Gill is one of Britain’s most distinguished and acclaimed directors. At the Royal Court Theatre in the sixties, he was responsible for introducing D H Lawrence’s plays to the theatre, and was the founding director of Riverside Studios and the National Theatre Studio. He has directed more than eighty productions in the UK, Europe and North America. They include his own play The York Realist as well as Scenes from the Big Picture, The Voysey Inheritance and currently, Gaslight at the Old Vic.

The Importance of Being Earnest opens in Bath on September 12, 2007, before continuing to Guildford, Edinburgh, Malvern, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Cambridge, Chichester and Richmond where it concludes on November 24, 2007.

Stomp is playing at the Vaudeville until September 23, 2007, and is followed by the world premiere of Swimming with Sharks which stars Christian Slater.
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