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Oscar Wilde Season Oscar Wilde
A year-long celebration. Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole Classic Spring Theatre Company 20,000 tickets available under £20

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest Press Night Reactions (full video)

The Importance of Being Earnest - The Play in Under One Minute

The Importance of Being Earnest - An Insight Into TIOBE




★★★★ ‘MAGNIFICENT’ Sunday Times


A fresh take on Wilde’s ‘comic masterpiece’ (Guardian), Michael Fentiman’s ‘hilarious’ adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest breaths ‘new and vital’ life (WhatsOnStage) into ‘one of the most immaculately crafted stage comedies of all time’ (The Stage). 


Olivier-Award winner Sophie Thompson ‘triumphantly tackles’ Lady Bracknell’s infamous “Handbag” (Arts Desk), while Stella Gonet’s Miss Prism ‘utterly convinces’ alongside Jeremy Swift, who hits ‘all the right notes’ as Rev. Chasuble (WhatsOnStage).


Fiona Button is ‘bright’ and ‘engaging’ as Cecily (Time Out), dovetailing perfectly with Pippa Nixon’s ‘excellent’ Gwendolyn (Broadway World); while Jacob Fortune-Lloyd is ‘perfect’ as Jack (The Times) opposite Fehinti Balogun’s ‘glorious’ and ‘sexy as hell’ Algernon (WhatsOnStage). 2 hours of comic bliss!


‘Brilliantly funny’ (Times) and ‘charming’ (Evening Standard) in equal measure, don’t miss the ‘magnificent’ (Sunday Times) final instalment of Classic Spring’s critically acclaimed Oscar Wilde Season. Book tickets while you can!


★★★★ ‘CHARMING’ Evening Standard

★★★★ ‘TRIUMPHANT’ Arts Desk

Sophie Thompson

Sophie Thompson

Lady Bracknell

A five-time Olivier Award nominee, Sophie won the Olivier Award for Best Actress for Into the Woods (1999). Most recently on stage in Guys and Dolls (Chichester), she is well-known for her film roles, including: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Emma, Gosford Park and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 . Sophie has achieved the unique distinction of achieving five Olivier nominations, taking starring roles in both EastEnders  (BBC) and Coronation Street  (ITV), and triumphing as the winner of Celebrity Masterchef  (BBC One).

Jeremy Swift

Jeremy Swift

Reverend Chasuble

Jeremy is best-known for his role in Downton Abbey (ITV), playing the butler, Septimus Spratt. His screen credits also include The Durrells (ITV), Gosford Park , Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist, and the Wachowski Brothers’ Jupiter Rising. He will soon be appearing in the much-anticipated film Mary Poppins Returns. His theatre credits include The Railway Children (King’s Cross Theatre), Abigail’s Party (West End) and What the Butler Saw (National Theatre).

Fiona Button

Fiona Button

Cecily Cardew

Fiona recently starred as Rose Defoe in the hit BBC drama The Split, and her other credits for the BBC include Outcasts and Lip Service. She starred as Annabella in Michael Longhurst’s acclaimed production of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and as Wendy in the RSC’s smash hit Wendy and Peter Pan

Pippa Nixon

Pippa Nixon

Gwendolen Fairfax

Pippa was one of the leading lights of the RSC from 2011 to 2014, eliciting rave reviews for her performances as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Bastard in King John and Rosalind in As You Like It. She has subsequently starred as Ariel in The Tempest at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and in Sunset at the Villa Thalia at the National Theatre. 

Stella Gonet

Stella Gonet

Miss Prism

Stella made her name as Beatrice Eliott in the BBC’s much-loved 1920s costume drama, The House of Eliott. She recently starred as Margaret Thatcher in Moira Buffini’s much loved Handbagged at the Hampstead Theatre and in the West End, and her other stage credits include Ophelia opposite Daniel Day Lewis’ Hamlet at the National Theatre.

Fehinti Balogun

Fehinti Balogun


Fehinti makes his West End debut as Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest. Theatre includes Against opposite Ben Whishaw at the Almeida Theatre, Myth at the RSC, and Glenda Jackson’s King Lear at The Old Vic. He will next be seen in Jesse Peretz’ film Juliet, Naked, and Neal Street Productions Informer for BBC and Amazon.

Fehinti trained at RADA.

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd

John Worthing (Jack)

Jacob trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

He recently finished the West End run of David Hare’s THE MODERATE SOPRANO. His theatre work includes Macduff in Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice and Cassio in Othello (RSC), and the titular role in Henry V (Trafalgar Studios and Rustaveli Theatre, Tbillsi). He will next be seen in Medici for Netflix, his recent television work includes Endeavour, The Collection, The Living and the Dead and Peter Kosminksy’s Wolf Hall.

Geoffrey Freshwater

Geoffrey Freshwater


Theatre work includes: the title role in The Barber of Seville, The Tempest, The Way of the World, Dracula, Arsenic And Old Lace (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Faery Queen (Aix-en-Provence Festival) and The Invisible Man (Stratford East). For the RSC: Love's Sacrifice, Volpone, Jew of Malta, The Witch of Edmonton, Arden of Faversham, The Roaring Girls, The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, The Changeling, Softcops, Coriolanus, Happy End, The Odyssey, Much Ado About Nothing.

His television work includes: Dempsey and Makepeace, Maybury, The Professionals, The Gentle Touch, Whoops Apocalypse, Crime Monthly, Cyrano de Bergerac, Poirot, Peak Practice, No Bananas, Killer Net, London’s Burning, The Bill (several episodes), Eastenders (several episodes), Trial & Retribution VII, Foyle’s War (several episodes), The Commander, Midsomer Murders, The Government Inspector, The Bill and Doctors and Will (TNT Drama).

For film Geoffrey has appeared in: A Bridge Too Far, The Grotesque, The Leading Man, Nocturnal and Sabotage, Invisible Woman and The Program.

For BBC Radio: Patricia’s Progress, Friends of Oscar, Top Story, The Archers and Ambridge Extra.

Matt Crosby

Matt Crosby

Merriman + Ensemble

Matt trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Recent theatre credits include; ‘To Sir, With Love’ (Birmingham Rep), ‘Kiss Me Quickstep’ (New Vic), ‘Of Mice and Men’ (Dukes’ Lancaster), ‘Her Benny’ (Liverpool Empire), ‘Look Back in Anger’ (Marilyn Monroe Theatre, LA), ‘As You Like It’ (Theatre Arts, Hollywood), ‘Toska’ (Strasberg Studio, LA) ‘A Midsummer Nights’ Dream’ (Redditch Playhouse), ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Swan Theatre), ‘Hansel and Gretel’ (Bolton Octagon). Film and TV include; ‘The Calcium Kid’, ‘The Spawning’, ‘No Angels’ and ‘Eyes Down’. Last year he found himself acting as a gag writer for Nickelodeon’s live production of ‘Spongebob-The Musical’, currently playing on Broadway. For the past 14 years, Matt has been involved with the Cambridge Arts Theatre pantomime playing Dame and co-writing the productions. This is Matt’s 4th time working with Michael Fentiman, the last being as movement director for Michaels 50th Anniversary Production of ‘Loot’. He lives in New Brighton with his wife and 2 children, Clara and Beatrice.

Meg Coombs

Meg Coombs


Trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Theatre includes A Woman of No Importance (Classic Spring at The Vaudeville Theatre), The Provoked Wife (Lady Brute at The White Bear Theatre/The Hope Theatre, Islington), The One (Lion and Unicorn Theatre), Measure for Measure (Shakespeare's Globe), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Fabiana Aziza Cunningham at Warwick Arts Centre Studio), Look Back in Anger (Helena at The Loft Studio, Leamington Spa). Film includes Undercliffe, Making Noise Quietly, The Complete Walk: Henry VI Part II.

Tim Gibson

Tim Gibson

Moulton + Ensemble

Tim trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Theatre includes; Cyril Cuthbert, Cyril's Success, (Finborough Theatre) Francis, A Woman of No Importance, Classic Spring Theatre Company, Dominic Dromgoole (Vaudeville Theatre) The Provoked Wife, (Hope Theatre), Pygmalion, (Vienna’s English Theatre), Richard III (UK tour).The Importance of Being Earnest (Italy tour),  Spooked (Vienna’s English Theatre), Night Without Luz (Avignon Off Theatre Festival), Homo- (Rosemary Branch Theatre), Letters from Everyone (Drayton Arms Theatre), Roles in training include Oliver in As You Like It, Artie Shaughnessy in The House of Blue Leaves, M in Cock and Colin in Earthquakes in London.

Alana Ramsey

Alana Ramsey


Alana trained at RADA. Theatre includes: Macbeth (National Theatre); Young Marx (The Bridge Theatre); Too Much Punch for Judy (Upstairs at The Gatehouse); The Glass Menagerie (Duke of York's Theatre); Unearthed (Arcola, The Other Palace & UK Tour); Young Bloods (RADA Festival); Agnes in A Bright Room Called Day (Southwark Playhouse) for which Alana was nominated for Best Actress at the Off West-End Stage Awards. TV Includes: Doc Martin (ITV); Silk and Doctors (BBC). Film includes: Belle (Isle of Man Film, Pinewood Pictures & BFI) and Common People. Radio includes: Burn Baby Burn, Best Q, Heading To Paradise, A Patriot For Me, The Mysterious Death of Jane Austen, The Russian Gambler, Number 10 and Two Minutes Hate, all for BBC Radio.

Michael Fentiman


Madeleine Girling

Set Designer

Gabriella Slade

Costumer Designer

Jack Knowles

Lighting Designer

George Dennis

Sound Designer

Michael Bruce


Gabrielle Dawes

Casting Director

James Callas Ball

Associate Director

Justin Allin

Costume Supervisor

Felicite Gillham

Wig Supervisor

Patricia Logue

Text Associate

Matt Crosby

Movement Director

Chris Lake

Prop Supervisor

Michaela Kennan

Voice Associate