Review Round Up: The Importance of Being Earnest, Vaudeville Theatre

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: TicketsEncore TicketsLove Theatre.comFrom the Box OfficeTheatre Tickets


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