A new Perth production of Oscar Wilde’s beloved play ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ features a remarkable family connection to the original 1895 London production.
Peter Clark, who will play Jack Worthing in the Graduate Dramatic Society production at The University of Western Australia’s Dolphin Theatre from July 27-28 and August 1-4 and 8-11, is the great, great nephew of Allan Aynesworth, who played Algernon in the original production at the St James Theatre more than a century ago.
Mr Clark said his great, great uncle was born Edward Abbot-Anderson in Berkshire in 1864 and died in 1959 in Surrey.
Allan Aynesworth appeared in a number of films including The Iron Duke (1934), Brewster’s Millions (1935) Young Man’s Fancy (1939) and The Last Days of Dolwyn (1949) but described his involvement in The Importance of Being Earnest thus: “In my 53 years of acting, I never remember a greater triumph than (that) first night.”
Mr Clark said it was a great thrill to be involved in the play.
“I feel very proud to be able to follow in the footsteps of previous family members,” he said. “In a strange way, you almost feel as if they are watching over you and guiding and empowering you – avoiding the mistakes that they probably made themselves!
“I have played my great, great uncle’s role of Algernon previously at London’s Southside Theatre in 1995 – but this will be my first attempt at Jack Worthing.”
The Graduate Dramatic Society production of The Importance of Being Earnest returns to the stage under the direction of one of Perth’s leading directors, Edgar Metcalfe.
Rich in wit and charm, Oscar Wilde’s well-mannered comedy of double identities and elaborate deceits takes aim at the social mores of the British upper classes.
The Importance of Being Earnest involves a cast of outlandish characters in a series of comedic situations arising from the deceptions practised by two of the central characters, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff.
When the practice of “Bunburying” - maintaining a false identity for the purpose of indulging in pleasurable but frowned-upon pursuits - boomerangs on them both, Jack and Algernon are forced to come clean in order to win the affections of their sweethearts, Gwendolyn and Cecily, all under the interested gaze of the formidable Lady Bracknell.
Offering a fresh, lively and comical production that is faithful to Wilde’s original vision and intent, GDS brings a dynamic mix of youth and experience, vibrancy and colour to the Dolphin Theatre at The University of Western Australia. The audience will be wickedly amused and entertained as they discover for themselves the “vital importance of being earnest.”
The cast are:
David Gregory, of Claremont, as Algernon Montford
Miley Tunnecliffe, of North Perth, as Cecily Cardew
Cassandra Charlick, of Claremont, as Gwendolin Fairfax
Peter Clark, of Guildford, as Jack Worthing
Meredith Daniel, of Tuart Hill, as Lady Bracknell
Jo Williams, of Stirling, as Miss Prism
Michael Lamont, of Stirling, as Chasuble
David Bruce, of Melville, as Lane
Ash Jones, of Fremantle, as Merriman
Director Edgar Metcalfe lives in Mt Lawley.
Bookings can be made through BOCS www.bocsticketing.com.au or phone 1800 193 300.
Dr Martin Forsey 61 8 6488 3880
(Production Manager) 0400 757 123
CRICOS Code: 00126G