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This show closed on October 20, 2018

About The Importance...

Don’t miss your last chance to see Olivier-Award winner Sophie Thompson ‘triumphantly tackle’ Lady Bracknell’s infamous “Handbag” (Arts Desk), or Stella Gonet and Jeremy Swift, who ‘utterly convince’ and hit ‘all the right notes’ as Miss prism and Rev. Chasuble (WhatsOnStage).

With only a few weeks left to see the ‘bright’ and ‘engaging’ Fiona Button as Cecily (Time Out), dovetailing perfectly with Pippa Nixon’s ‘excellent’ Gwendolyn (Broadway World); make sure you see Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, ‘perfect’ as Jack (The Times) opposite Fehinti Balogun’s ‘glorious’ and ‘sexy as hell’ Algernon (WhatsOnStage). 2 hours of comic bliss!

‘Brilliantly funny’ (Times) and ‘charming’ (Evening Standard) in equal measure, don’t miss the ‘magnificent’ (Sunday Times) final instalment of Classic Spring’s critically acclaimed Oscar Wilde Season. MUST END 20th October. Book now to avoid missing out!

Tell Me More

“The Importance of Being Earnest” concludes the Classic Spring Company’s Oscar Wilde season at the Vaudeville Theatre. This light-hearted comedy explores the nature of marriage and follows John Worthing in his quest to escape his own social restraints.

John makes frequent trips to London to visit his good friend, Algernon. After falling in love with Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen, he wins her over by pretending to be a fictitious character called “Ernest.” Before asking for her hand in marriage, he must first get the consent of Lady Bracknell. However, she soon discovers that Ernest was left in a handbag at Victoria Station as a baby and remarks on how she would never dream of letting her daughter “marry into a cloakroom and form an alliance with a parcel." Without being able to reveal his own family background, will John be able to get the approval he desperately seeks from Lady Bracknell? Starring Sophie Thompson (“Guys and Dolls”) and Jeremy Swift (“Downton Abbey”), Michael Fentiman’s adaptation provides a fresh, queered-up take on Wilde’s hilarious masterpiece.

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What To Watch For

  • On the opening night of the original production in London in 1895, the Marquess of Queensbury (the father of Wilde’s lover) planned to present the writer with a bouquet of rotten vegetables. Although Queensbury was refused entry, Wilde’s homosexuality was revealed in the subsequent court case, and he was sent to prison as a result.
  • The original Broadway production also opened in 1895, but closed after just sixteen performances.
  • There have been many notable revivals of the play in more recent times, including the 1982 production at the National Theatre starring Judi Dench, and the 1993 production at the Aldwych Theatre starring Maggie Smith.
  • In 2007, a first edition of the play text was found in an Oxfam shop in Cheshire in a handbag.

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Run Time


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Recommended for ages 8+

A masterpiece of sparkling wit
What's On Stage
Brilliantly funny
The Times

Vaudeville Theatre

404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH

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