Bruiser Theatre, which is marking its 20th anniversary this year, is well known in Northern Ireland for its innovative slant on popular plays and musicals. And its latest production, the Oscar Wilde classic ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, is no exception.
Under the direction of Bruiser founder Lisa May, the all male cast keep the tradition and language of Wilde in its truest form, whilst at the same time making the show relevant for today’s modern audience.
The recurring themes of marriage, courtship and mundane social obligations ring as true today in this punchy retelling of the classic as when Wilde first put pen to paper.
Boasting some of the funniest lines in the English language, this is Earnest for a 2017 audience interpreted by an all-male cast.
It stars Joseph Derrington as protagonist Algernon Moncrieff and Joseph O’Malley as Jack Worthing, who become entangled in an hilarious plot, forcing each to maintain their fictitious personae ‘Earnest’ to win the hearts of two endearing ‘women’.
“We wanted to explore the notions of love and marriage, as well as gender equality,” explained Lisa.
“The writing of Oscar Wilde, and especially scenes in The Importance of Being Earnest, lends itself to how we find ourselves in Northern Ireland in 2017.
“By using an all male ensemble we are creating a piece of theatre that will spark debate but in an entertaining way.
“Oscar Wilde was presenting this in 1895 and it explores Victorian morals, which he saw as hypocritical.
“He was very forward thinking and he was supportive of gay rights as well as women’s rights, which he saw as very important.
Creative Director at the Mac in Belfast Simon Magill is thrilled to be once again working in collaboration with Bruiser Theatre, making this the fourth production they have worked on together in recent years.
“We’re delighted to present Wilde’s classic in Bruiser Theatre Company’s vibrant theatrical style,” he said. “The Importance of Being Earnest will be a guaranteed night of entertaining fun for those familiar with and new to Oscar Wilde.”
The curtain goes up on Friday March 24 and runs for three weeks until April 15. Tickets are on sale now.