Why Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest Continues to Captivate
Oscar Wilde took an aesthetic view of literature – art for art's sake – and it is that view that led to him to pen down a play that continues to captivate audiences a century later! Often quoted, his witticisms include the infamous quote, “there is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about”. What can you expect from such a master of wit? Based on a theme that includes ethics, fraud, triviality, fate, unrequited love, and irony, the comedy still strikes a chord even with the modern audience of today!
Essentially a comedy of manners, this play revolves around a pun on the name “Ernest”. Much hilarity ensues after a case of mistaken identity as of the four young people that it centres around, both men lead double lives.
The witty script is heavily laden with innuendo, sarcasm, and humour. As a result, the audience is kept on their toes throughout the play, in case they miss something. Wilde wins your heart again and again with lines, such
as “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his.”
Other classic lines from The Importance Of Being Earnest include: “If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated” and the frequently quoted “In married life, three is company and two is none”. Of course, we cannot forget the classic “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”
The West End production adds even more oomph to the already amazing play by having a berouged David Suchet play Lady Bracknell, complete with magnificent feather hat. His majestically funny performance ensures that he captivates the audience during each show. His interview of Mr. Worthing who is his daughter Gwendolen’s suitor, is easily the highlight of the play.
The play continues to enthral the West End audience until November of this year. Taking a leaf out of Wilde’s book, “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself”, we earnestly recommend that you go watch this play!