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Importance of Being Earnest becomes two-hander



Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A NEW take on an old story. That's The Barbican's new production of the Oscar Wilde classic Importance of Being Earnest which features just two actors during its month-long run, from June 9 to July 9, 2005.

Billed as 'a trivial comedy performed by two serious people', Wilde's 1895 satire is a co-commission between the Barbican and the Ridiculusmus double act, aka David Woods and Jon Haynes (pictured), who divide all of the play's nine roles between them.

Importance of Being Earnest is about morals and manners, with prim-and-proper Jack Worthington in love with the equally prim-and-proper, Gwendoline Fairfax.

At the same time, his friend Algernon Moncrieff is in love with Cecily Cardew. Trouble is, both Gwendoline and Cecily are in love with Earnest.

For a happy outcome to ensue, the formidable Lady Bracknell must solve the mystery of the missing handbag; but, more importantly, a question must be answered - who is really being earnest?

Ridiculusmus has had previous hits at the Barbican with Ideas Me, Say Nothing and Yes Yes Yes.

The Barbican production previously toured in Australia and has a UK tour planned following its London run.

As a matter of interest, Importance of Being Earnest was staged at Bristol Vic as recently as May 2005, with an all-male cast.

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