THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST by Oscar Wilde
Alsager Community Theatre brightened up those long winter evenings with its production of the classic Oscar Wilde comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, performed at Alsager Civic from 23 - 26 November 2016.
This farcical comedy famed for its witty dialogue and the absurd behaviour of its characters was written in 1895 and has remained popular to the present day, with frequent stage productions and several films. Jack and Algernon are best friends and in order to escape social obligations and the demands of polite society, both are living a double life. Algernon pays frequent visits to a fictitious invalid friend (Bunbury), while Jack invents a troublesome younger brother (Ernest), who regularly needs his attention. Naturally, both are on the cusp of falling in love and marrying, and during the action of the play it becomes essential that both change their names to Ernest!
Director James Tomkinson told us “The Importance of Being Earnest is perhaps best known for the formidable presence of Algernon’s aunt and Gwendolen’s mother, that glorious comic creation, Lady Bracknell. Oscar Wilde described his play as a trivial comedy for serious people, and in it he mocks and satirises the stifling atmosphere of polite English society of the 1890s with hilarious results. We are fortunate to have gathered a talented cast of local actors, and are confident that our audiences will have a wonderful evening.”
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales at Little Moreton Hall
National Trust property Little Moreton Hall once again hosted a production by award-winning local amateur company, Alsager Community Theatre. In July, ACT staged an adaptation of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in one of the most intimate and delightful acting areas in Cheshire, the courtyard of this beautiful Elizabethan Hall.
The courtyard of Little Moreton Hall was transformed into the Tabard Inn, where pilgrims gathered before setting off on their journey to the shrine of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. The pilgrims came from every part of England and from every class of 14th century society. They quarrelled, insulted, attacked and defended each other while Harry Bailey, the host of the Tabard, attempted to keep the peace and to keep the stories coming.
Director Maree Thorpe told us, “We are performing four of the Tales; the Knight’s, the Miller’s, the Pardoner’s and the Wife of Bath’s, and ACT is fortunate to have attracted a large and talented cast of local actors, who will all play multiple roles as pilgrims both telling and acting out the tales. The medieval costumes will look wonderful at Little Moreton Hall and there will be plenty of colour and action in a fast-moving, energetic production. Humour, sometimes bawdy, will have first priority but there are also opportunities for romance, melodrama, song and dance. Wonderful, atmospheric music has been written specially for the production by local composer Richard Tadman.”
Canterbury Tales was performed on 14, 15 and 16 July and again on 21, 22 and 23 July 2016. Audience members were once again free to picnic on the lawns at Little Moreton Hall beforehand.
The production was extremely well received and a wonderful time was had by all!
To see a list of productions going back to 2011, click here >