News: National Theatre announces The Importance of Being Earnest

The National Theatre today announces a new production of Oscar Wilde’s joyful and flamboyant comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. Reimagined by director Max Webster (MacbethLife of Pi), who will make his National Theatre debut, the production will run in the Lyttelton theatre from 20 November 2024 to 25 January 2025.

Casting includes Richard Cant (Stan & Ollie, Mary Queen of Scots) as Reverend Canon Chasuble, Sharon D Clarke (Ma Rainey’s Black BottomDoctor Who) as Lady Bracknell, Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who, Sex Education) as Algernon Moncrieff, Amanda Lawrence (Star Wars: Episode – IX The Rise of SkywalkerAngels in America) as Miss Prism and Hugh Skinner (W1AMamma Mia! Here We Go Again) as Jack Worthing. Further casting to be announced.

Director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris said:

‘It is a joy to be welcoming Max Webster in his National Theatre directorial debut with a new production of Oscar Wilde’s hilariously subversive comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. Max has assembled an extraordinary cast to reimagine one of our greatest comedies, with Ncuti Gatwa making his National Theatre debut. We are also delighted to welcome back Richard Cant, Amanda Lawrence, Hugh Skinner and Sharon D Clarke, who is returning to play one of Wilde’s most iconic roles – Lady Bracknell.’ 

Being sensible can be excessively boring. At least Jack thinks so. While assuming the role of dutiful guardian in the country, he lets loose in town under a false identity.  Meanwhile, his friend Algy takes on a similar facade. Unfortunately, living a double life has its drawbacks, especially when it comes to love. Hoping to impress two eligible ladies, the gentlemen find themselves caught in a web of lies from which they must carefully navigate.

Directed by Max Webster with set and costume design by Rae Smith,lighting design by Jon Clark, sound design by Nicola T. Chang, composition by DJ Walde, movement direction by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille and casting by Alastair Coomer CDG.

The Importance of Being Earnest will join the previously announced Ballet Shoes at the National Theatre for the festive season and will run in the Lyttelton theatre from 20 November 2024 to 25 January 2025.

Tickets are on sale to the public from Thursday 23 May,

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