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The Importance of Being Earnest
By Oscar Wilde A Co-production with The MAC

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed in 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways.


  • Ross Anderson-Doherty

  • Richard Croxford

  • Joseph Derrington

  • Joseph O’Malley

  • Karl O’Neill

  • Chris Robinson

  • Samuel Townsend


  • Director: Lisa May

  • Composer & Musical Director: Matthew Reeve

  • Costume Design: Carla Barrow

  • Set Design: Diana Ennis

  • Lighting Design: Zia Bergin-Holly


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In Lisa May’s fresh, cleverly constructed production, the focus falls relentlessly on Oscar himself. In the pre-set, a Wilde lookalikes sashays on stage to repose languidly on a silken couch. Around and above him, Diana Ennis’ Escher-inspired set of winding staircases and private nooks hints of secret acts in dark places. Pin-sharp lighting goes up on seven ottomans draped with throws and cushions. Jane Coyle, The Stage
With a pre-existing lack of strong female stage roles, performing The Importance of Being Earnest with an all male cast was always going to raise questions about Bruiser Theatre Company’s decision. Artistically, director Lisa May’s gamble pays off. Alan Meban, Alan in Belfast
The stand-out performances are Joseph Derrington’s puppyish Algy and Ross Anderson-Doherty’s wonderfully enunciated Lady Bracknell. Jane Coyle, The Stage
Purists will be glad to know the play itself stays intact and grounded to the original that Wilde penned, whereas younger audiences and non-purists will love the addition of the songs that add another layer of absurdity and serve as a way of incorporating more of Oscar in this play than ever before. Chris Caldwell, Pastie Bap
Diana Ennis’s minimal yet effective set provokes thoughts of how the night is going to unfold. Flamboyance and fabulousness already seems evident. The perimeter of the stage surrounding the supine Wilde encompasses a circular staircase with spot-lit ottomans on each level. Ciara Conway, Culture Hub Magazine
The cast members are all fabulous and inhabit the roles given to them, especially Ross Anderson-Doherty who somewhat steals the show with a captivating turn as the fiery rapid fire speaking Lady Bracknell. Chris Caldwell, Pastie Bap