Our Current Show
The Importance of being Earnest
Directed by Sue Goble
20th, 21st & 22nd March 7.45pm | 23rd March 2.30pm
Whilst it is certainly important for a young man to have the quality of earnestness, is it really necessary for him to be called Ernest? This is the dilemma explored in Storrington Dramatic Society's forthcoming production of Oscar Wilde's famous comedy of manners, "The Importance of Being Earnest".
Young men-about-town, Jack (Simon Berry, making his debut for SDS) and his friend Algernon (Sam Standen), are keen to woo feisty young women, Gwendolyn (Emily Hale) and Cicely (Maddy Gilmore in her first leading role). But they must do battle with formidable Lady Bracknell (Angela Chapple, relishing the opportunity to release her inner Dame Edith Evans), who is adamant that they should not succeed. The two friends come up against another obstacle; the girls are determined only to marry men by the name of Ernest!
Local clergyman, Canon Chasuble (Roy Stevens), who arrives on the scene expecting merely a pleasant afternoon stroll with Cicely's governess, the buttoned-up Miss Prism (Amanda Hislop), is surprised to receive two requests for immediate baptism. Miss Prism, meanwhile, is nursing a secret of her own. Will her revelation smooth the path to true love, or will it create yet more bumps in the road?
Aided and abetted by servants, Lane (Michael Chapple) and Merriman (Charlotte Amey), Jack and Algernon do their best to persuade the girls of their intentions, while inventing any number of disreputable brothers and invalid friends along the way.
Wilde's sparklingly witty script is full of lines that audiences will recognise; the most famous being, of course, Lady Bracknell's horrified exclamation when confronted by Jack's disclosure that he was found as a baby in an item of luggage - "a HANDBAG!!" And Downton Abbey fans will see a great deal of Dame Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess in the character of this relic of a bygone age still asserting her authority.
Director Sue Goble says that, with "The Importance of Being Earnest" on the syllabus for many A levels and GCSEs, tickets for the show are likely to sell very quickly. Priced at £8, with a student concession rate of £5, they can be obtained from the Box Office outlets at Fowlers Estate Agent in The Square at Storrington and Nisa Local in Haglands Lane, West Chiltington, or on-line via the website www.storringtondramatics.co.uk. Performances are at Sullington Parish Hall in Thakeham Road, Storrington on Thursday 20, Friday 21 and Saturday 22nd March at 7.45pm and on Sunday 23rd March at 2.30pm.