Review: The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest tells the story of two bachelors, John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff, living in 1890’s England. To escape their boring lives both men devise make believe sick friends and false identities and ultimately both end up using the same pseudonym, Earnest.

Jack and Algy plan to win the hearts of two women, who, conveniently, claim to only love men called Ernest. However, one little lie about what their names are leads to other fibs, mistaken identity and deception, as Jack and Algy struggle to keep up with the pretence of their own stories.

Directed by Joanna Carrick, the Red Rose Theatre Chain has taken the classic text by Oscar Wilde and injected the piece with that sparkle that we have come to love from this talented theatre company.

Brilliantly cast, Laurence Pears (Algernon) and Lawrence Russell (John) have perfect comic timing – the pair make for quite a double act!

Joanna Carrick, known for writing and directing some amazing pieces of theatre, including the stunning ‘Fallen in Love’, returns to the stage bringing the part of Lady Bracknell to life. Whilst Antony Carrick’s portrayal of butler Merriman was both believable and, at times, poignant.

Leonie Spilsbury’s Gwendolen was perfectly pitched, and dizzy teenager Cecily was brilliantly acted by Joanna Sawyer.

Red Rose’s take on this classic Oscar Wilde play is full of fantastic comedic timing, and, with great acting and directing makes for a very enjoyable performance – Cucumber sandwich anyone?

The Importance of Being Earnest runs until 9th April at The Avenue Theatre, Ipswich. To book tickets contact the Box Office on 01473 603388 or visit

Review: Wendy Cook, Ipswich24
Pictures: Bill Jackson