The Importance of Being…Earnest

Second year Theatre students take a shot at Oscar Wilde’s piece

By Erica Guth

The second year Professional Theatre students premiered their mostly successful studio production of The Importance of Being Earnest, last Wednesday.

The play tells the story of two brothers. One has invented a fake brother to deceive his ward, Cecily, who lives in the country, to excuse his misbehaviors when he goes into the city. He falls in love with a girl named Gwendolyn as Earnest, and she loves him only because of his name.

Although they are unaware of this at that time, Algernon, his actual brother, goes to the country and falls in love with Cecily as Jack’s fake brother, Earnest. Soon, both girls figure out that neither man is actually named Earnest, but decide to be with them anyways. Algernon and Earnest also find out that they are brothers separated by a horrible mistake involving a handbag and a train station cloak room when they were infants.

The acting was quite satisfactory for the most part. Anton Golikov was perfectly cast as Jack. He delivered his lines flawlessly, despite the complexity of the dialogue, and made his character believable.

Derek Johns, cast as Algernon, was less of a star, but did a solid job nonetheless. He seemed to struggle with the British accent a little and sometimes stumbled slightly over his lines, yet he had many good moments. He and Golikov did a great job of playing off each other and the scenes containing only them were some of the best.

Lady Bracknell, played by Fiona Walkington, was hilarious in her first few scenes as the witch of an aunt, but soon got tiresome. As for the protagonists’ female counterparts, there is almost nothing to criticize. Grace Lauzon did and excellent job with the part of Gwendolyn, portraying the spoiled girl perfectly.

Chantale Demole as Cecily carried the play, along with Golikov. The naive, ditzy, but mostly sweet young ward stole the second half of the production. She was utterly convincing. There was not a weak moment in her performance and she and Gwendolyn played well together.

Regardless of the fact that he had a small part, Devery Notargiovanni as Dr. Chasuble stood out, but in all the wrong ways. He really looked the part and that was pretty much all he had going for him. He was incomprehensible. He had a very poor grasp on the British accent and looked as though he was reciting instead of acting. Though it’s true that it’s a hard play to pull off and the dialogue is very challenging, he could have done a much better job with his role.

Liana Bdewi as Miss Prism played her part well, although she too was slightly hard to understand. The servants and footman, Jonathan Dufour, Zachary Brown and Marc-André Dagenais all did very good jobs.

The lighting and the sets were very well done and fit the mood of the play perfectly. Logan Williams, the costume designer, and Pierre Lafointaine, in charge of hair and make-up, did a wonderful job of making the actors look their part. Alexander Smith also did an excellent job as sound operator. The music played a big part in setting the right mood.

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