Classic Spring has announced that Fiona Button (Cecily Cardew) and Stella Gonet (Miss Prism) have been cast in Michael Fentiman’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the Vaudeville Theatre (20 July to 20 October 2018, press night is 2 August), with Pippa Nixon replacing Sinead Matthews as Gwendolyn Fairfax. Matthews has had to step down from the company due to an unavoidable scheduling clash.
The three actresses join Sophie Thompson as Lady Bracknell and Jeremy Swift as Revered Chasuble, as previously announced.
The Importance of Being Earnest is the last in a year-long series of productions at the Vaudeville Theatre celebrating the brilliant and radical wit of Oscar Wilde. The season opened with Dominic Dromgoole’s production of A Woman of No Importance, starring Eve Best and Anne Reid. Lady Windermere’s Fan, starring Kevin Bishop, Samantha Spiro and Jennifer Saunders and directed by Kathy Burke, was followed by An Ideal Husband, starring Freddie and Edward Fox (running until 14 July).
Since the season began, the productions have been seen by more than 120,000 people at the Vaudeville, including huge family audiences for The Selfish Giant and Wilde Creatures, and 110,000 more on cinema screens nationally and internationally.
Fiona Button plays Cecily Cardew. Fiona recently starred as Rose Defoe in the hit BBC drama The Split, and her other credits for the BBC include Outcasts and Lip Service. She starred as Annabella in Michael Longhurst’s acclaimed production of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and as Wendy in the RSC’s smash hit Wendy and Peter Pan.
Pippa Nixon plays Gwendolyn Fairfax. Pippa was one of the leading lights of the RSC from 2011 to 2014, eliciting rave reviews for her performances as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Bastard in King John and Rosalind in As You Like It. She has subsequently starred as Ariel in The Tempest at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and in Sunset at the Villa Thalia at the National Theatre.
Stella Gonet plays Miss Prism. Stella made her name as Beatrice Eliott in the BBC’s much-loved 1920s costume drama, The House of Eliott. She recently starred as Margaret Thatcher in Moira Buffini’s sell-out hit Handbagged at the Hampstead Theatre and in the West End, and her other stage credits include Ophelia opposite Daniel Day Lewis’ Hamlet at the National Theatre.