Melbourne’s Out Cast Theatre company, using ‘bits of Mr Oscar Wilde’, as stated on the flyer, return a sort-of version of The Importance of Being Earnest to the Edinburgh Fringe. The play is framed within a story of three thespians, who are as equally committed to quick wit as they are to the theatre; Sebastian and Winston, performed by Steven Dawson and Brent Thorpe, are two actors embarking on their next loyalty-free project: The Importance of Being Earnest. Sebastian equips Christian into their ensemble, a spunky young thing with a bad reputation, played by Liam O’Kane. This trio, accompanied by a beautiful wooden duck, fill the hour with quick-witted remarks and cutting quips, articulated through a constant fusion of scathing looks and melodrama.
An importantly entertaining contribution to the LGBTI global theatre scene.
The show is explicitly camp, undeniably hammy and unapologetically filthy; there is no shadow of doubt that Dawson, Thorpe and O’Kane are experienced and seasoned professionals as they become these exceptionally sharp-tongued characters. The men are constantly digging, manipulating and indulging each-other with profanities, critique and compliments; we are convinced their dialogue could have been a crass thought moments before, jumped upon and spewed out with irrefutable sass.
The ever-changing dynamic between Sebastian, Winston and Christian is easily followed by the frankness of the characters – they discuss sex so openly that there can be no confusion regarding who’s doing who, who’s done who and who wants to do who. The production ends with a greatly condensed version of Oscar Wilde’s play, inclusive of all the predisposed mayhem. It would have been enjoyable to return to the world established by Dawson, who also wrote the show, because I had become invested in the trio – no doubt they would have had strong feelings on the success of the eventual production. However, the show ends with a bang, there is so little time to rest between jokes that the laughter carries right through to the final bow. The Importance of Being Earnest as Performed by Three F*cking Queens & A Duck has a Roger De Bris flamboyance and is an importantly entertaining contribution to the LGBTI global theatre scene.