Home > Uncategorized > PERFORMANCE: Returning to the stage in May in Oscar Wilde’s THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

PERFORMANCE: Returning to the stage in May in Oscar Wilde’s THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

I’m happy to announce that I’ve been selected to play the role of Jack Worthington in the Confetti Stage production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

Publicity still from the original production of The Importance of Being Earnest (1895): Allan Aynesworth (left) as "Algernon"; George Alexander (right) as "Jack"

It’s definitely my best, highest profile, most exciting, and most challenging role to date. I want to thank Confetti Stage and our director, Neil Jones, for both giving me the opportunity to audition and for selecting me to be one of his leads.

I must make the shameful admission that I’ve never actually read any of Wilde’s work. I did purchase The Picture of Dorian Gray a little over a month ago, and it’s currently sitting next to my bed whilst I trudge through work, exercise, writing projects, and the HBO series “The Wire” on DVD. I know, I’m such a Philistine.

Despite these shortcomings, I plan to start work on the construction and preparation for this character immediately. I’m going to purchase the play (since I’m not sure when we’re getting copies) after I get out of work today. I plan to immerse myself not only in the reading of this particular play, but also in the aforementioned novel (which, like The Importance of Being Earnest, was Wilde’s only published effort in the medium) and other works.

The impression I get is that as a performer, in order to understand this play and its motivations, you need to understand Oscar Wilde. Not just in his talent, celebrity, intentions and scandals, but in his words. More specifically, in the whys of what he writes, how he writes it, and where those words are placed.

I imagine performing Wilde is akin to performing Stoppard (I played Septimus Hodge in a production of Arcadia this past August/September) in the sense that it is engrained in the written word much more than in traditional plays. Not that there isn’t room for creativity or flexibility, but there is a reason for every sentence and phrase. The arrangement, placement and nuances don’t just count, they’re essential.

It’s a great challenge that I look forward to meeting.

Joining me in the cast (courtesy ConfettiStage.com):
John “Jack” Worthing ……………. Kevin Marshall
Algernon Moncrieff ………………. Chris Kowalski
Rev. Canon Chasuble …………….. Stephen Henel
Merriman ……………………………. Ryan McLaughlin
Lane ………………………………….. Rich Pekins
Lady Bracknell …………………….. Kate Gulliver
Gwendolen Fairfax ………………. Katherine Buckley
Cecily Cardew …………………….. Vivian Hwang
Miss Prism …………………………. Maeve McEneny

Confetti Stage’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest runs from May 14th to May 23rd. More information on tickets and showtimes as they become available.

In the meantime, read the following by Stephen Frye, who starred in the BBC produced biopic “Wilde” as the titular character:

Beauty of Soul: Oscar Wilde & Anton Chekhov

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Neil
    March 2, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Scripts are being purchased today.

  2. Jessica R
    March 2, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Congrats! That is a great attitude to have about jumping into a role!

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