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August 3, 2009

Review of Earnest at Starford Festival

It’s an amazing feeling, when you spend time wishing and wishing and hoping and hoping for something, and then it finally happens. It may be a job offer, a marriage proposal or losing that final 10 pounds; regardless, it brings about a type of joy that is hard to describe. For me, the joy began back in May, when I heard that The Importance of Being Earnest was showing at this year’s Stratford Festival. Earnest!!!! The same joy reached it apex last night when, finally, DBF and I were seated in the Avon Theatre, witnessing the greatness that is, combined, Oscar Wilde and Brian Bedford.

The word “genius” gets thrown around a great deal, but when one is talking about Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Picture of Dorian Gray, An Ideal Husband, etc etc…) one is never, ever exaggerating. Oscar Wilde is ostentatious, opulent, flamboyant and brilliant, with razor-sharp wit and cunning observations. Simply reading Earnest in high school made me double over with laughter; my first encounter with Oscar made me love him endlessly. However, seeing his most-celebrated work, Earnest, performed on stage by Stratford’s most-celebrated actor/director, Brian Bedford (artfully playing Lady Bracknell), was like having aged Swiss cheese and fine wine; a breath-taking, delightful pairing, guaranteed to satisfy.

Also starring Mike Shara, Ben Carlson, Sara Topham, Andrea Runge and Robert Persichini, Earnest will have you gasping for breath with laughter. The actors are to be congratulated on wonderful performances, and of course, Mr. Bedford is also to be congratulated on putting together such a beautiful piece of work. This play is flawless and beautiful, and delivered, I suspect, exactly as Mr. Wilde would have intended.          The Importance of Being Earnest is playing until October 30; I suggest you go find your seats.  “Both? To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both seems like carelessness.” – Lady Bracknel

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