Wednesday, February 23, 2011
"Earnest" Earnestly Enjoyed
I saw The Importance of Being Earnest at the Roundabout Theatre Company this week, directed by and starring Brian Bedford, and it was fantastic. It was what Oscar Wilde’s works are supposed to be. The direction was flawless, the acting incredible, and the sets, costume and lighting all of a piece and all working to support the hilarious script. The actors took their time with the language, setting up the punch-lines perfectly without belaboring them. Each character was fully inhabited by the actor playing him/her; at no time was an actor ever playing at the character. The themes of aestheticism Wilde explored and modeled so adeptly in this society comedy shine through (it’s not a philosophy to which Jack Simony would ever adhere, but I enjoy how Oscar Wilde presented it), and I truly believe that were Wilde in the audience with me, he would not only have approved Brian Bedford’s performance as Lady Bracknell, he also would have heaved a huge sigh of relief at seeing his work deliver on its promise, uncompromised and whole. If there are any tickets left, grab them.