The Importance of Being Earnest

Written by Oscar Wilde. Directed by Karen Claridge.

Performed on Thursday 21 June - Saturday 23 June 2007 at Pentyrch Village Hall


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The story is a comedy of errors and confusions around names, in particular the name Ernest. Two friends, one named Jack Worthing and the other Algernon, each have imaginary friends that they 'escape' to see to get away from their home lives. Jack lives in the country but often visits his imaginary brother named 'Ernest' in the city. Algernon, on the other hand, lives in the city and often visits his imaginary friend called 'Bunbury' in the country. Because Algnernon only knows Jack through the name of Ernest, he is unaware of his country name and personality, which is a more serious character for the benefit of his ward, Cecily. Jack then arrives in the city as Ernest wishing to marry Gwendolen, Algernon' s cousin, whilst Algernon finds out about the attractive Cecily and wants to meet her too. He gets the idea to visit John in the country, pretending that he is the mysterious brother 'Ernest'. However, Jack has decided to give up his imaginary friend, and to do this he has announced the tragic 'death' of Ernest. Algernon is therefore visiting the country as a dead man, as far as the hosts are aware. Cecily and Gwendolen both get engaged to their 'Ernest Worthings' as both fell in love with the name, but they then find out they have been deceived and neither of the two Ernest's really exist. So, it seems that everybody loves Ernest, but nobody's quite sure who he really is!


This play was an ambitious choice for this company and especially for Karen Claridge in the 'hot seat' for the first time. A well constructed set worked well but I thought was a little too fussy for the limited playing arena.

The complicated plot was excellently portrayed by a strong cast. Huw Williams (John Worthing) and Richard Jones (Algemon Moncrieff) set the pace with their lengthy opening scene. There were some lovely cameo roles with Phil Davies as the Rev. Canon Chasuble and Ruth Crowder as Lady Bracknell. Tracy Richards (Lady Gwendolen Fairfax) and Fleur Greening (Cecily Cardew) provided the two ladies being pursued by the two suitors. Ian Jones (Mr Gribsy), Rhys Stapleton (Moulton), Dai Williams (Merriman), John Major (Lane), Martyn Lench (Footman), Brenda Slaughter (Miss Prism) all contributed successfully to a most enjoyable evening. As I made my way home I could not help comparing Oscar Wilde to the other great writer of that same era, W.S .Gilbert, there is certainly a hint of Topsy- Turvydom about this play.

Reviewed by Derek Grattidge


Lane                                            John Major

Algernon Moncrieff                 Richard Jones

John Worthing                         Huw Williams

Lady Bracknell                         Ruth Crowder

Lady Gwendolen Fairfax       Tracy Richards

Cecily Cardew                          Fleur Greening

Miss Prism                                 Brenda Slaughter

Moulton                                      Rhys Stapleton

Rev Canon Chasuble             Phil Davies

Merriman                                    Dai Williams

Mr Gribsby                                 Ian Jones

Footman                                    Martyn Lench


Production Team


Director/Producer                    Karen Claridge


Assistant Director/Producer Anne Morris


Stage Manager                         Wayne Brewer


Assistant Stage Manager      Raynor Phinnemore


Properties                                 Raynor Phinnemore


Set Design/Construction      Wayne Brewer, Raynor Phinnemore, Karen Claridge, Ray Claridge, Jenna Claridge, Rhys Stapleton, Anne

Morris, Sue O'Halloran, Nathan Brown, Jan Stapleton, Ros Jones, Wayne Davies, Hilary Evans


Back Stage                               Wayne Brewer, Raynor Phinnemore, Nathan Brown, Josh Cripp, Rhys Stapleton


Lighting/Sound                       Wayne Brewer


Continuity                                 Sue O'Halloran


Wardrobe                                  Francis Winter


Hair Design/Make Up             Nikki Jones, Rhiannon Doller,


Business Manager                 Bob Petersen


Business Team                       Richard Jones, Helen Page, Sue O'Halloran


Photography                           Mike Morris


Front of House Manager      Bob Petersen


Front of House                       Members and Friends of Hilltop


Box Office                                Brenda Slaughter