Oscar Wilde is one of my favourite playwrights and The Importance of Being Earnest is my all-time favourite play ever. So, naturally, when I saw that Hart House’s season would be opening with it, I was jumping up and down in my seat on the bus and getting several strange looks from the normal people around me.
Keeping with the late Victorian era of style, costume designer Ming Wong kept everything within the normal sense of fashion. However, that was the only part of the show that was kept in any sense of the word “normal”. *
Set designer, Brandon Kleiman conceived a set that would be easily changeable and topsy-turvy as the director, Cory Doran seemed to take much of his inspiration for his approach to this particular play from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
The cast’s rapid-fire recitation of lines is simply astonishing. It was almost like listening to a conversation between a pair of teenage girls, but with much more eloquence and enunciation involved. Victor Pokinko played the part of the simpering and overindulgent Algernon Moncrieff, whose performance of flamboyance and cleverness in his particular character is something that I have never seen before. It was a pleasant surprise and an interesting acting choice. Playing opposite as Jack Worthing was Michael Adam Hogan. Although he chose a much more straightforward path to playing Jack, his performance was quick tongued and earnest [pun intended].
An altogether hilarious venture into the roundabout world of the earnest and Earnest’s leaving the audience with a stitch in their sides and a dizzying grin on their faces.
The Worthing brothers; JOHN & EARNEST will be at the Hart House Theatre [U of T campus] until Oct. 4th. Call 416-978-8849 for tickets.