The importance of being Oscar

I don’t love theatre nearly as much as I feel I should – huge ticket prices, uncomfortable seats, the awkwardness if things on stage aren’t working – but I do adore Oscar Wilde and Shakespeare. They seem such bullet proof writers – their plays make sense to me no matter what silliness the directors/set designers/actors are up to. So I was really thrilled to get lovely tickets to The Importance of Being Ernest at the Vaudeville Theatre in the Strand last night.

Unfortunately the gods weren’t smiling kindly on my arrangements – TL’s phone had run out of juice. The friend coming with us hadn’t realised – because I hadn’t told her – that there was a ticket for her husband too. TL arrived hot and tired on a Boris bike and fell asleep as soon as the curtain rose. Luckily he had room to spread out due to the empty seat next to us. Grrr just about sums it up.

Despite all this, I did love it. David Suchet (or Poirot, as I shall always think of him) was truly magnificent as Lady Bracknell, and neatly skipped over the dreaded ‘handbag’ line which must be such a daunting prospect, cleverly putting all the emphasis on the line before. Michele Dotrice was a wonderful Miss Prism and Cecily was a natural comedienne.

The real star for me was Oscar, as ever, with some of his lines sounding so fresh they could have been thought up over an absinthe only yesterday. And if a few of the jokes were a bit tired, well, they weren’t nearly as weary as poor TL. He was better after his nap, though.

The importance of being David Suchet
The importance of being David Suchet

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