Lorne Kraft, as butler Merriman, serves tea to Stephanie Brossard’s Gwendolen Fairfax (left) and Sarah Collyer’s Cecily Cardew, two women who think they are both betrothed to a man named Ernest, in the Yellow Point Drama Group production of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Yellow Point Drama Group staging ‘Importance of Being Earnest’

Oscar Wilde play follows two men using the same pseudonym and satirizes the Victorian upper class

The Yellow Point Drama Group is staging Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and cast members are excited to take on a script by a writer renowned for his wit and way with words.

“The wordplay has held up surprisingly well considering how long ago it was written,” said actor Mitchell Wager of the 19th century play. “And it’s quite a joy to be a part of and try to really get the flow of this language that feels so close to English, but it feels unique.”

The Importance of Being Earnest follows two men who court two women under the same pseudonym, Ernest, resulting in the two women believing they are then engaged to the same man. The play, coming to Cedar Community Hall from Oct. 4 to 19, is also a send-up of the Victorian upper class.

“It’s just like Monty Python,” said actor Ken Heibert, referring to the early-’70s British sketch comedy program. “You derive some entertainment or pleasure out of seeing figures of authority and pompous figures held up to ridicule or at least mocked in some way.”

Director Gordon McInnis said the YPDG has been wanting to present a period piece with lavish costumes and sets for a couple years and after poring over 17th century Restoration comedies he decided on Wilde.

This is the first Wilde play for McInnis and some cast members as well. Stephanie Brossard plays Gwendolen Fairfax, love interest of Wager’s John Worthing. She said The Importance of Being Earnest is one of her favourite plays and she’s excited to make her Wilde debut.

“It’s so witty. It’s just so funny and the language is really beautiful. It just flows so trippingly off the tongue,” she said. “I find the language of Oscar Wilde always to be lovely whether it’s his poetry, his stories or his plays.”

Actress Judy Hipkin has also long wanted to be in a Wilde play because of the playwright’s “stunningly wonderful” language.

“It’s so different from anything else and it’s so precise and beautiful,” she said of the script. “Every single word is placed particularly to give a particular meaning. Oscar doesn’t waste words.”

Aside from the comedy, McInnis said there’s some serious commentary in the play as well which may be overlooked.

“We come to listen to his language and his wit and his humour, but I think he had some real thoughts on relationships and marriages and family and I think that comes through when you analyze his plays more – not that we expect our audiences to analyze all this,” McInnis said. “I hope they just simply come and enjoy it, but when you dig a little deeper with Wilde I think there’s a reason why he’s still relevant today.”

WHAT’S ON … The Yellow Point Drama Group presents The Importance of Being Earnest at Cedar Community Hall, 2388 Cedar Rd., on Oct. 4, 5, 11, 12 and 18 doors at 7, show at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 19 doors at 1:30, show at 2 p.m. and doors at 7, show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $20 at the door or online.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo Art Gallery summer campers explore private, public spaces in new show

Dazzle Camouflage participants to unveil painting and video projects online next week

‘Unstoppable’ Nanaimo nurse recognized for work caring for survivors of assault

Island Health’s Aimee Falkenberg receives Canadian Forensic Nurses Association’s Visionary Award

Regional District of Nanaimo urges residents to sign up for new emergency alert system

RDN aligns its alert technology with Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum Beach

‘Food 4 Summer’ campaign in Nanaimo receives $10,000 from Island Savings

Loaves and Fishes trying to build new donor relationships during pandemic

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read