Touring – reviewed at the Barn Theatre, Cirencester
Guest reviewer: Josie Aburrow Smith
The Importance of Being Earnest is a classic comedy about two bachelors who create alter egos to escape their everyday lives. This is followed by mistaken identity and romance. The play by Oscar Wilde was first performed in 1895.
This production at the Barn Theatre is a version like you have never seen before. It starts off with the stage manager Kevin McKinnon, played by Aidan Harkins, and the producer Graham de Harem, played by Ryan Bennett, finding out that the entire cast of their production of The Importance of Being Earnest is missing and they decide the show must go on.
What follows are the two of them managing to play every part in the three act play. Both the actors succeed in switching between being all the characters with remarkable speed and style. There is a brilliant moment where they are changing between being the gentleman and flouncing ladies by swapping hats and accents at astonishing speed. Throughout the whole play they maintain the pace and wit. Bennett and Harkins both put in fantastic performances with boundless energy.
This is a laugh out loud witty performance cleverly directed by Bryan Hodgson. It is on at the Barn Theatre in Cirencester until 15 February, it then transfers to the Turbine Theatre in London for two weeks from 18 February.