The Importance of Being Earnest By 3 F*cking Queens And A Duck is a fun take on Oscar Wilde's classic Manners Comedy, told from the perspective of three actors (the queens) who want to do something different with the play for a fringe festival when work dries up for them. What evolves is a show that is not only reminiscent of the famous classic film from 1952 with Edith Evans as Lady Bracknell, but an insightful masterclass into the different ways Wilde's plays can be performed when explored comedically.
Saucy, fun and full of Wilde's charm and wit in a modern setting
Outcast Theatre has the strong cast of Steven Dawson (Writer, director and flamboyant character Sebastian), Brent Thorpe (the ever frustrated Winston) and Liam O'Kane (the lovable Christian) and a plastic duck...How on earth does the duck feature you may ask; and what does it have to do with The Importance of Being Earnest? To be honest, the duck is a safety net for Christian after he steals it from the last show he did to calm his nerves. He insists he cannot perform without it and asks that the duck be ever present on stage whether used or not. This is a running sketch that could be made more use of to heighten the comedy to more abstract heights. As a suggestion, the duck could become other characters as the chaos of the play becoming shorter and shorter - thanks to the venue giving priority to those who could pay more to hire it - intensifies. It then would add another layer to an already strong piece of writing and performance to give it a little more edge.
Apart from that, Dawson's direction enables all three cast to embody the spirit of Oscar Wilde as they in turn explore complex relationships and how manners go a long way in a modern world, whilst sending up the world of acting and theatre styles such as Chekov and Kabuki to establish the real voice of Wilde's masterpiece as a unique selling point. The energy and commitment to these lovable, but flawed characters is engaging, exciting and flamboyant. If Oscar Wilde was alive today, he would want to be performing himself with this dynamic trio and being a cheeky nuisance to stir things up a little. Especially as each word spoken is performed by all cast with such precision and comic timing that the audience are on the edge of their seats to see which characters from the original plays emerge. We can also see the intimate connection between Dawson, Thorpe and O'Kane play out on stage in a heightened and honest way, alongside the hard physical work that is put into it to bring them to life - including the ever formidable Lady Bracknells...to find out why there are many versions of her, come and see this show!
Saucy, fun and full of Wilde's charm and wit in a modern setting, The Importance of Being Earnest By 3 F*cking Queens And A Duck is one for fans of Wilde and classical experimental theatre that is not to be missed.