German version by Claudia Bossard
In order to escape their social obligations and to enjoy their secret wishes and desires – or perhaps their true selves? – incognito, the dandies Algernon and Jack lead double lives. Algernon invents a sickly friend called Bunbury requires regular visits in the countryside, while Jack professes to look after his pleasure-loving brother Earnest to allow himself frequent trips to the city.
There, he leads a dissolute life in the role of just this Earnest, while he acts like morally unassailable guardian of his ward Cecily at his country residence.
Cecily in turn has set her mind on only marrying a man called Earnest – just as Algernon’s cousin Gwendolen, the girl that Jack is courting on his trips to the city.
When Algernon arrives in the country playing te role of Jack’s alleged brother Earnest, the comedic entanglements take their course.
The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde’s most famous comedy – and his final one:
Shortly after its premiere, the author was sentenced in a public trial to two years’ hard labour in prison for homosexual acts. With his health, his financial and social status ruined, Wilde died in Paris in 1900 at the age of 46. From today’s perspective Oscar Wilde’s own double life, which, unlike that of his protagonists, did not have a happy end, is unavoidably inscribed into this immaculately constructed comedy.
In director Claudia Bossard’s fast-paced version, Oscar Wilde’s witty comedy becomes an entertaining, queer theatre experience. It blurs the lines between German and English with its metropolitan society talk liberates images of gender and identity from their Victorian corset in a playful whirlwind.
- The play received a Nestroy Theatre Award in the category "Best Bundesland Performance".
With English surtitles
Claudia Bossard (Regie)
Elisabeth Weiß (Bühne und Kostüme)
Matthias Dielacher (Kostümmitarbeit)
Marta Navaridas (Choreografie)
Annalena Fröhlich (Sounddesign)
Elisabeth Tropper (Dramaturgie)
Daniel Richter (Dramaturgie)
Viktor Felligi (Licht)
Kristina Jedelsky (Licht)
Andreas Müller (Maske)
Lisa Birke Balzer (Gwendolen Fairfax)
Felix Goeser (Pastor Chasuble)
Maximiliane Haß (Cecily Cardew)
Frieder Langenberger (John Worthing)
Katrija Lehmann (Miss Prism)
Alexej Lochmann (Merriman und Lane, Butler)
Evamaria Salcher (Lady Bracknell)
Andri Schenardi (Algernon Moncrieff)