Oscar Wilde classic at Lancaster theatre

The Importance of Being Earnest comes to the Lancaster Grand Theatre.
The Importance of Being Earnest comes to the Lancaster Grand Theatre.

Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy of manners is coming to Lancaster Grand Theatre.

This spring The Pantaloons theatre company is bringing its fast-paced, physical and fantastically funny production of The Importance of Being Earnest to theatres around the country.

Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy is one of the best-loved plays ever written. The wonderfully witty lines are just as funny today as they were when the play was first performed in 1895.

Everybody loves Ernest. In fact, Cecily and Gwendolen are both engaged to Ernest. The only trouble is, Ernest doesn’t exist. Or does he? Best friends Jack and Algy have both created alter-egos to win the affections of their beloveds; but when will they stop being Ernest and start being, well, earnest?

The Pantaloons’ energetic new production adds a few contemporary twists to this perennially popular play.

Even as the audience arrive, the company’s own team of efficient butlers will help to direct people to their seats, announce their arrival and make sure that all their needs are catered for.

“This is not just a retread of an old standard,” said director Mark Hayward, “this is a show crammed full of imagination. We’ve taken influence from silent film, Victorian music hall and contemporary physical theatre to compliment Wilde’s brilliant words; which are obviously still the main attraction.”

Audiences can expect larger-than-life characters such as the indomitable Lady Bracknell, moments of audience interaction and live music provided by the multi-talented cast of actor-musicians.

The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons began life ten years ago as an open-air theatre company, busking plays for donations in parks and on the streets, where they developed an attention-grabbing, interactive and playful performance style.

Mr Hayward said: “We characterise our work as post-modern folk theatre. We take well-loved tales and give them a contemporary twist, making them accessible for new audiences and showing seasoned fans something that they perhaps had not seen in them before.”

The Pantaloons has picked up plenty of loyal followers and a lot of critical acclaim and has quickly become one of the country’s most prolific touring companies - and even they are not entirely sure how and when that happened.

The Importance of Being Earnest hits Lancaster Grand Theatre on Thursday March 24 at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £12 for adults and £11 for concessions and are available from the box office by telephoning 01524 64695.