A Review of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, a Nomadic Players Production

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to watch The Nomadic Players in a dress rehearsal performance of their current play, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, ahead of their opening night on Thursday, February 7th.

What a Wilde ride that was! I forgot how much, in some places, this play is insane. A good insane though.

I will admit, the Nomads had a lot to compete with – several years ago I watched a performance of this play in Birmingham, starring Nigel Havers. It would be unfair to hold his absence against the society, as I’m sure the invitation for him to reprise his role of Jack for a third time was merely lost in the post.

I was excited from the moment I heard this production was happening, and I knew I would go and see it regardless of the circumstance; it is essentially my favourite play, after all. I’m very certain that Mayoorhan (who assumed the role of Jack Worthing) was quite worried they would butcher the experience for me, leaving me disappointed and with a broken heart. This was far from the case! Now, of course, I only witnessed the dress rehearsal, so indeed it was a bit shaky at times and not all the tech had been properly set up – but that didn’t impede the performance at all, and I have no doubt that by the opening performance, they’ll have everything ready to absolutely smash it. I can’t wait to witness it in full glory. (Yes, I plan to go again).

The chemistry between Mayoorhan and Andrew was authentic, showcasing from the very start a brotherly dynamic complete with bullying, jokes, and the usual family antics. The addition of the ‘rough and tumble’ effect between them really added humour to parts of the dialogue where, without it, the play would lul a little bit. This was an effective choice that paid off well. One element of this production that I love was that Algernon was, in basically every scene, always eating. It would have been so easy to cut this tidbit or reduce it – but no, there was full commitment to the point of speaking lines through mouthfuls of cucumber sandwiches and muffins. Not only was there a sense of chemistry between “brothers” Jack and Algernon, but there was a strong connection between all the characters, resulting in a very believable portrayal.

Overall, I was really impressed with their rendition of The Importance of Being Earnest – it was humorous, playful and definitely in the spirit of what Wilde intended. It was a great performance by the entire cast and I cannot recommend that you go witness the madness for yourself!

You can go catch The Importance of Being Earnest tonight, Friday and Saturday over at the Ceredigion Museum! You won’t be disappointed.

Tickets are £6.50 at the door or £5 through pre-order at the Ceredigion Museum box office.  Alternatively, you can ring them at 01970 633088 to book in advance.