WINCHESTER — Oscar Wilde’s most enduringly popular comedy will take the stage at the Old Town Hall in Winchester, on April 26, 27 and 28 and May 3, 4 and 5. First performed in 1895, the play’s witty humour, clever dialogue and cast of delicious characters have stood the test of time. Its universal themes of marriage, identity, class and keeping up appearances still ring true with modern audiences.
The plot of Earnest follows the unsmooth path to love for two men about town – John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff, who create fictional excuses to escape their conventional lives. They attempt to win the hearts of two women, Cecily and Gwendolen, who, inconveniently though enchantingly, claim to only love men called Ernest. The fellows struggle to keep up with their own stories and become tangled in a tale of deception, disguise and misadventure. Adding to the fun are pretentious and stern aunt Bracknell who insists on propriety and decency in all matters, from marriage to tea sandwiches, as well as the prissy and secretly desirous governess, Miss Prism, the courtly Reverend Chasuble and two hilarious butlers.
Director Mike Carter of South Mountain has been infatuated with the play for as long as he can remember. He directed several shows for Dundas County Players in the early 2000s and is hugely pleased to finally try his hand at “Earnest”.
“We have assembled an amazingly talented cast and crew”, observes Carter. “And we are thrilled to present the play in its integral form. It’s been a lot of work on everyone’s part and it’s wonderful to see it all coming together.” Carter has decided to set the show in the 1960s where liberation and freedom reigned. As a designer by trade, he will oversee the visual concept of the entire show, from set dressing to costuming. “I believe this is the most ambitious set DCP has ever produced”, adds Carter. “The clever design which changes three times during the play will keep the stage interesting and audiences engaged. You’re in for a treat!”
“Earnest” leads theatre goers down a humorous spiral of events that promises to entertain and delight by pondering the whims of social approval. The silliness runs deep in this story – to the point of absurdity. However, it does resolve well, with a neat conclusion to tie it all together with a silk bow. Oscar Wilde wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Performances will take place on April 26, 27 and 28 and May 3, 4 and 5 at the Old Town Hall in Winchester. Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, April 26 and 27 and May 3 and 4. There will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Sundays, April 28 and May 5.
Tickets are $20 for adults ($10 for youths 18 and under) and are available through Paypal at dcplayers.ca, by contacting the DCP Ticket Line at 613-297-0097 or in person at the Painted Arrow in Winchester (501 Main Street). We encourage you to follow us on Facebook for updates and teasers on the show.
The Dundas County Players Theatre Society is a community volunteer organization that promotes theatre arts in Dundas County. For the past 23 years, Dundas County Players has been providing quality entertainment including plays, children’s summer workshops, and cabarets.