Sunday, February 12, 2012

REVIEW: The Importance of Being Earnest by the Rose Theatre Kingston

Academy of Performing Arts Lyric Theatre, Sunday February 5

A Trivial Comedy for Serious People, a perfectly summed description by Oscar Wilde himself. The Importance of Being Earnest was first performed in 1895 and has since entertaining people. Yes, entertaining and there’s nothing wrong with that. When it opened, some contemporary reviews warned that it lacks social message… really? I always thought that it packed with powerful commentary on the Victorian ways; but then it is also not difficult to see why one can’t be objective during that time.

First of all, I have to declare that I totally enjoyed the performance. It will have to take a daft production to make this wonderful play unbearable. Having said that, there will always be a role or two that one would have seen performed better in some other productions or one feels can be done better. In this case, I have to say it was Carol Royle’s Lady Bracknell… I wish she was a bit more “formidable”; and Ishia Bennison’s Miss Prism… I wish she was a tad more “Victorian”.

I particularly like Richard Dixon’s Canon Chasuble, he has that naughty, eager and shy combination that made the role stood-out without overshadowing others. Daniel Brocklebank’s Jack Worthing perfectly inhabited the stage with beautifully timed missteps and punches. The sparring between Kristy Besterman’s Gwendolen Fairfax and Faye Castelow’s Cecily Cardew when they believed that they were proposed by the same Earnest was most deliciously cutting.

The Importance of Being Earnest
By Oscar Wilde
February 2-5 2012
Rose Theatre Kingston

Creative Team:
Director: Stephen Unwin
Associate Director: Cordelia Monsey
Set Designer: Hayden Griffin
Costume Designer: Mark Bouman
Lighting Designer: Malcom Rippeth

Cast includes:
Lady Bracknell: Carol Royle
Algernon Moncrieff: Mark Edel-Hunt
Jack Worthing: Daniel Brocklebank
Gwendolen Fairfax: Kirsty Besterman
Cecily Cardew: Faye Castelow
Canon Chasuble: Richard Dixon
Miss Prism: Ishia Bennison
Lane / Merriman: Walter Van Dyk

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At February 25, 2012 at 7:14 AM , Anonymous Carol Royle said...

Hi there Satoshi, I'm sorry you didn't like the way I played Lady Bracknell and the choices we made. It's a tricky one you know, as one doesn't want to imitate the formidable Dame Edith; to be a cliche, but more to rely on the text of Wilde to show her as an clever, opinionated, frightening, narrow-minded and hypocritical socialite, young enough to have a teenage daughter, and old enough to be daunting, all of which I rather hoped I portrayed - as an actress, all one can do is 'feel' it, believe it, and be guided by the author, and hope that, as a consequence, the audience does too - sorry you didn't. CR.

At February 25, 2012 at 6:14 PM , Anonymous Ed Hahn said...

I thought Royle did an incredible acting job!!!


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