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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Importance of Being Earnest

Brian Bedford as Lady BracknellFriday night, my mother and I went to see what will most likely be the last play I see at this season’s Stratford Festival – The Importance of Being Earnest. This was the last play that Oscar Wilde wrote, and it apparently premiered only weeks before he was tried and found guilty of, well, being gay. (Hrmph. So glad we don’t live in a society like that any more.)


I had never read or seen this play before, and had never seen any movie adaptations of it, so I knew very little about the story going into it. Basically this is a comedy in Victorian England about two men who are in love with two women, and both the women believe the men that they are in love with is someone else – a man named Earnest. And hijinks ensue. And there is a lot of eating of muffins and cucumber sandwiches. And arguing. And other wonderfully funny stuff.

The extremely talented Brian Bedford directed this play, and had the role of Lady Bracknell (the mother of one of the women in love with one of the Earnest’s). I try to see at least one of Bedford’s plays every season – he is by far one of my favourite stage actors, and I love love LOVE the stuff he does at the Festival. Unfortunately, he wasn’t at the Festival last year (sob!) so I was super excited to have the chance to see him in this play this season. This particular play showcases his brilliance with comedy as well as his ability to take on any role and completely make it his own. And let’s face it, this was his play. The other actors were fabulous, but when Bedford was on stage, all of my attention was focused solely on him.

This was definitely one of the highlights of the summer for me, and oh, I so want to read the play now!

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 11:10 pm October 3, 2009.
Category: Plays

  • Memory

    This is one of my all-time favourite plays. I was lucky enough to see a production two years ago, and I hope I get the chance to see another someday.

  • Kailana

    You fixed the comment thing! Now, if I could be told when your blog updated all would be right with the world… lol

  • heidenkind

    I love this play! Oscar Wilde was so clever and witty. I think my favorite thing about it is how he presents women–as people who see and recognize their own power, even if the men don’t.