REVIEW: “The Importance of Being Earnest,” at Oldham Coliseum

The Importance of Being Earnest, at the Oldham Coliseum theatre
The Importance of Being Earnest, at the Oldham Coliseum theatre

Lovely! Lovely to be back in Oldham Colisuem’s delightful old theatre, which has such a wonderful atmosphere! Lovely to see the success of the refurbishment, all newly painted and with new comfortable seats! And lovely to see an accomplished cast perform a familiar play with such wonderful comic timing.

Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” never fails to amuse, no matter how often you see it. The clever wit, the cunningly contrived plot, the memorable characters make for such an entertaining evening.

London Classic Theatre’s production is a pleasure to watch. Judith Paris is an excellent Lady Braknell, Ashley Cook and Paul Sandys are an elegant pair as Algernon and Jack, Helen Keeley and Helen Phillips are charming as Gwendolyn and Cecily. Laoisha O’Callaghan is a faintly Irish Miss Prism, with Peter Cadden as a suitably bumbling Canon Chasuble.

However, for once, I was enthralled by the performance of Jonathan Ashley as Lane, Algie’s butler, and Merriman, Jack’s butler. His stage business with the chairs is hilarious. The whole play is a pleasure.

Soon the Coliseum’s incomparable Panto will be back, this year Cinderella starting on November 24th.