Michael Fentiman’s production of Oscar Wilde’s beloved comedy is the final production in Classic Spring’s Oscar Wilde season. Here’s what critics have been saying about it….
WhatsOnStage: ***** “Think you know Wilde’s masterpiece? Get to the Vaudeville where Michael Fentiman’s sexy, dark-hued but fresh take on The Importance Of Being Earnest brings the Classic Spring Company’s year-long Oscar Wilde season to an enthralling, er, climax. You may end up perceiving this well-worn text in a different light.”
The Guardian: ** “At least the production is consistent in its determination to rob Wilde of his decorum.”
The Stage: ** “Michael Fentiman’s pantomimic production does it a disservice. Denuded of nuance, it reduces every character to a caricature and pitches the comedy at such a frenzied level from the outset it allows it nowhere to go and no space to grow.”
Broadway World: *** “It makes for a joyfully farcical romp, but Michael Fentiman’s frenzied direction is also in danger of upstaging one of theatre’s all-time great comedies – a piece of such exquisite construction that it’s frustrating to have flawless lines lost to people shoving bread in one another’s mouths.”
Time Out: ** “Fiona Button is the stand-out – by some distance – as a bright, engaging Cecily; she allows the character to be absolutely as doolally as written, while also nailing her bossy efficiency as a full-on flirt, with very clear ideas about love and how it should play out. Shame she’s the only one, in this muddled take.”
The Upcoming: *** “Though the audience are certainly not short of laughter, this is a staging which lacks a lightness of touch. Heavy-handed references to Wilde’s sexuality, though meant as an homage, muddle the tone of the production. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of joy to be found here in the timeless witticisms of one of the nation’s finest minds.”
The Reviews Hub: ** 1/2 “The Importance of Being Earnest may be Wilde’s best-known play, but this forgettable version ends a season that that has, in truth, delivered some good performances but very little insight.”
Evening Standard: **** “But even if this isn’t the most subtle take on the play, the one-liners retain their sparkle. Unafraid of daftness and exaggeration, it’s an entertaining conclusion to the Classic Spring company’s year-long West End celebration of Wilde.”
The Importance of Being Earnest will play at the Vaudeville Theatre until the 20th October. To book tickets click here or visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, See Tickets, Encore Tickets, Love Theatre.com, From the Box Office, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk.