Wilde comedy isn’t one to be missed

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The Importance of Being Earnest is probably the best known and arguably the most popular of Oscar Wilde’s comedies – and with good reason.

It is witty, with sparkling dialogue and Wilde takes great delight in wickedly mocking the upper crust of the period.

There is not a wasted word in his script, which is full of the epigrams which we all know and relish listening to.

The opening scene with John and Algernon, played with the right combination of verve and the languid touch, by Iain Winstanley and Matthew Bailey, gets the play off to a flying start.

Gwendolen and Cecily, played by Kat Brook and Rachel Wood, are convincing as the objects of the men’s affections but who demand that they can only love someone called Ernest.

Maria Bailey brings beautifully to life the domineering Lady Bracknell whilst Miss Prism (Carol Ward), the put-upon governess, and Rev Chasuble (Chris Ward) are delightful. Of course, one mustn’t forget the obligatory manservants (Peter Wrigley and Steve Goddard) who, with a lift of the eyebrow, betray their inner thoughts.

With evocative sets, gorgeous costumes, excellent teamwork and polished direction by Brian Gibson, which brings out all Wilde’s wit, this is an evening to savour and enjoy.

Performed by Dewsbury Arts Group until May 7.