What a great event this was to see some exponents of radical fringe theatre performing in a traditional “straight” play. The discussion with the actors at the end gave a real insight into how and why they were drawn to adapting this “conventional” play to their own radical theatricals. The truth of the matter is that in his own time Oscar Wilde was quite radical enough… so much so that eventually he was virtually martyred for being Oscar! Yesterday’s performance pushed the envelope just a little further so that a 2006 audience could feel their comfort zones being strained at the edges…. I never imagined Dr Chasuble having a public orgasm in his lustful pursuit of the oh so improper Miss Prism! Yesterday’s performance by the group called “Ridiculusmus” also emphasised that central theme of Wilde ( and Shakespeare) that we all (all human beings) spend our lives ACTING…. our lives are a drama of roles… and which of them are authentic (if any)… as Shakespeare said: “All the World’s a Stage and we are MERELY players”. So this performance of “Earnest” using 2 actors to play ALL 9 roles certainly reinforced the idea of role-playing as one of the core features of human existence. The program notes had this question and answer:
In The Importance of Being Earnest two actors perform nine roles. What insights into Wilde’s work do you think the Ridiculusmus version offers audiences?
Answer: Our versions highlights the theme of society and personality as constructed performance – people performing and manipulating their daily life.
Here are some shots of the merry group who performed their attendance at this joyous and subversive piece of theatre. Here are the early comers:
and the late arrivals!
and an art shot of the way in to this den of sin!
A great time was had by most!…. thank you for coming. Cheers