Mayflower, Southampton – until 6 June 2015
Then touring ahead of West End
The thought of seeing one of our greatest character actors playing Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest was something I could not resist! David Suchet, best known for playing Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective Poirot on TV, was donning a dress in this classic written by Oscar Wilde in 1895.
This production, set over three acts with ten-minute intervals between each, is resplendent in witty delivery and a display of excellence in acting. John Worthing, played by Michael Benz, along with Algernon Moncrieff, played by Philip Cumbus, were perfectly cast as the highly privileged gents.
Of the ladies whose affections they were trying to win, Hon Gwendolen Fairfax (Emily Barber) was adorable and the young ward Cecily Cardew (Imogen Doel) displayed whimsical sweetness and lovable eccentricities that, at times, were scene-stealing.
Michele Dotrice as the governess Miss Prism, who yearned for love, gave a brilliant performance using her renowned facial expressions to great effect. For me though, the comic timing, delivery and effortless transition to Lady Bracknell was an absolute joy to see in David Suchet.