The Importance of Being Earnest - New Wolsey Theatre

The Importance of Being Earnest

Performed from Tue 27 Sep — Sat 1 Oct

'The Importance of Being Earnest' Trailer!

'The Importance of Being Earnest' - Behind the Scenes! (With Captions)

3 Words to Describe 'The Importance of Being Earnest!' (With Captions)

On a blue and turquoise background is the silhouette of the profile of a man from the shoulders up. Yellow and white text over the silhouette reads 'Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Denzel Westley-Sanderson.'

An ETT, Leeds Playhouse and Rose Theatre co-production.
Supported by a grant from the Royal Theatrical Support Trust.

Meet Oscar Wilde's genius humour in this theatrical rollercoaster exploring dysfunctional families, class, gender and sexuality - a classic satire packed with shade, wit and plenty of gags.

Directed by Denzel Westley-Sanderson
Designed by Lily Arnold
Lighting by Zoe Spurr
Sound by Beth Duke

Cast & Creatives

Phoebe Campbell — Cecily

The headshot of Phoebe Campbell.

Phoebe Campbell plays Cecily. Their television credits include House of the Dragon. The Importance of Being Earnest is their professional theatre debut.

Valentine Hanson — Merriman/Lane

The headshot of Valentine Hanson.

Valentine Hanson plays Merriman/Lane. For theatre, his work includes The Emperor's New Clothes (Small Truth Theatre), Orpheus Descending (Theatr Clwyd), Orpheus Descending (Menier Chocolate Factory), We Anchor In Hope (The Bunker/ W14 Productions), Handfast (Nutshell Theatre), The Sisterhood (Belgrade Theatre), Hector (Eden Court/Mull Theatre), Cuming And Going (Boom at the Bush Theatre), Stopsearch (Catford Broadway Theatre), For One Night Only/Footprints In The Sand, Letting Go/Footprints In The Sand (Pursued By A Bear), Festen (Lyric Hammersmith Theatre), G.I. Burns (Forest Forge Theatre Company), The Tempest (Orange Tree Theatre), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Bill Kenwright Limited), Come With Me (Roundabout/Nottingham Playhouse), After The End Of The World (Red Ladder Theatre Company), Positive Mental Attitude (Theatre Centre), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Classic Theatre) and Racine's Andromache (Grassy Knoll). For television, his work includes The Friday Night Project and Casualty; and for film, London Voodoo and Crucifixion Island.

Joanne Henry — Miss Prism

The headshot of Joanne Henry.

Joanne Henry plays Miss Prism. For theatre, her work includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre/UK & Ireland Tour), Jane Eyre (Chapterhouse Theatre/UK & Ireland Tour), Lost For Words (Outside Edge/UK Tour), Love Moved Him to Die (Jasperian Theatre Company/UK Tour), The King and I (Newtown Abbey and Aberystwyth Rep), Sweet Charity (The Crucible, Sheffield), Raoul (New & Abused Theatre Company), Westside Story (West End & UK Tour), Oklahoma! (Grange Park Opera) and Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (The Really Useful Group). For television, her work includes Bridgerton, Vera, Pennyworth, The Salisbury Poisonings, Trigonometry and Roadkill; and for film, Wonder Woman, Last Christmas and Dogwood.

Daniel Jacob — Lady Bracknell

The headshot of Daniel Jacob.

Daniel Jacob plays Lady Bracknell. Daniel has gained international recognition as his Drag Queen alter ego Vinegar Strokes, for which he has appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Eastenders, Dinner With My Ex and Drag Karaoke Club. For theatre, his work includes Death Drop (West End & UK Tour), The Pirates of Treasure Island (Stag Theatre), Begæret Mysterier (Royal Danish Theatre), Eurobeat (Turbine Theatre), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Apollo Theatre), Testosterone (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Charming Dick (Royal Vauxhall Tavern), The Macbeths (Pleasance Theatre), Angelina Ballerina (UK Tour), Aladdin (Hazlitt Theatre), Bugsy Malone (Secret Cinema), Ragtime The Musical (Landor Theatre), Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens (Theatro Technis) and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour & Dubai).

Adele James — Gwendolen

The headshot of Adele James.

Adele James plays Gwendolen. For theatre, her work includes Much Ado About Nothing (The New English Shakespeare Company), The Picture of Dorian Gray (UK Tour), Nine Night (Trafalgar Studios), #Hashtag Lightie (Arcola), Stopcock (Southwark Playhouse), Meatman (Theatre503), In The Pink (Courtyard Theatre) and Expectations (Theatre N16). For television, her work includes African Queens, Casualty, Doctors and Red Light; and for film, Acceptable Damage.

Abiola Owokoniran — Algernon Moncrieff

The headshot of Abiola Owokoniran.

Abiola Owokoniran plays Algernon Moncrieff. The Importance of Being Earnest is Abiola’s professional debut.

Anita Reynolds — Dr. Chasuble

The headshot of Anita Reynolds.

Anita Reynolds plays Dr. Chasuble. For theatre, her work includesA Monster Calls (Old Vic- UK/US Tour), Bartholomew Fair,The Merry Wives Of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe), ear for eye (Royal Court), Absolute Hell (National), hang (The Other Room), The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe, Arabian Nights, Horrible Histories, Romeo & Juliet, Measure for Measure (Sherman), Speechless (Shared Experience), The Move (Made in Wales), Carers (Turning Point), Cinderella (Unicorn), Forbidden Fruit (Nottingham Playhouse), Wishful Thinking (Hijinx), Dealing with Feelings (London Bubble), How High is Up, Mirror Mirror (Theatre Centre). For television, her work includes The Birth Of Daniel F Harris, In My Skin,Relik, Keeping Faith, Casualty, Stella, Holby City, Gwaith Cartef, Talking to the Dead, Being Human, Caerdydd, Belonging, Dau Dy A Ni, Nice Day for a Welsh Wedding, Doctors, The Story of Tracy Beaker, Bay College, Nuts and Bolts, Pobol Y Cwm, The Bench and The Hull Project; and for film, I Used To Be Famous, Telling Tales, Sweet 16, Rain and Paradise Grove.

Justice Ritchie — John Worthing

The headshot for Justice Ritchie.

Justice Ritchie plays John Worthing. For theatre, his work includes Human Nurture (Theatre Centre) and Dear Elizabeth (Gate Theatre).

Denzel Westley-Sanderson — Director

Denzel Westley-Sanderson is a theatre director and workshop facilitator. He trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, has been part of the Resident Directors’ pool at the Almeida Theatre, and was previously director of the CTC Dance Company. His theatre credits include directing Identity (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), which won the award for ‘Exciting New Work’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, co-director on Jesus Christ Superstar - The Concert (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), and associate director on Dick Whittington and Small Island (National Theatre). Denzel has also worked with the Participation team at the Donmar Warehouse on several schools’ project across London.


On a blue and turquoise background is the silhouette of the profile of a man from the shoulders up. Yellow and white text over the silhouette reads 'Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Denzel Westley-Sanderson.'

Zoe Spurr — Lighting Designer

Beth Duke — Sound Designer and additional composition

Luke Child — Production Manager

Becca Chadder — Assistant Director

Bryony Jarvis-Taylor — Casting Director

Phillippe Cato — Dramaturg

Tinovimbanashe Sibanda — Movement Director

Tonye Scott-Obene — Associate Movement Director

Esi Acquaah-Harrison — Voice Coach

Reviews of The Importance of Being Earnest

What the press say

★★★★ 'A cracking comedy featuring near-thwarted love affairs, mistaken identity and rebellious youngsters... thoroughly sparky and buoyant'

Always Time for Theatre

'The melodrama, the comedy and the farce all meshed together to create a truly unique spin on a Wilde classic'

East Anglian Daily Times

'Knockabout fun with Wilde’s genteel wit'

The Guardian

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