A look at The Importance of Being Earnest

dsc_0017A rendition of Oscar Wilde’s best-known comedy The Importance of Being Earnest was staged by the students of Daphne Charles at the Russian Cultural Centre on the 31st of October.

Kinura Ranawaka and Akindu Leelaratne played the roles of bachelors Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, respectively, whose entanglements in their own deception, had the audience amused. They both adopt alter egos, so as to get away from the restrictions of their lives.

However, things go awry for them when Algernon turns up at Jack’s house pretending to be Earnest, the very brother that Jack has just announced to be dead. The leading ladies Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew who are both fixated with the name Earnest, were convincingly played by Gavinya Wijesekera and Arani Akmeemana, adding to the chaos and romance alike.

Kimali Abeynayake took the stage with a breath-taking performance as the formidable Lady Bracknell, whose interview of Jack to assess his eligibility as a good husband for her daughter Gwendolen, had the crowds entertained. Chenuli Abeywardene was the pedantic puritan Miss. Prism who had, in years gone by, misplaced the baby in her care, leaving him in a handbag at a railway station, is unwittingly the cause of Jack’s hitherto unknown identity. Canon Chasuble – the local rector she harbours feelings for – was played by Rahul Leelaratne. Hiruna Ranawaka’s double acting as Algernon’s manservant Lane and Jack’s butler Merriman provoked much laughter. All ends well, with the couples united, and Jack realizing in more ways than one, the vital importance of being earnest.

This production saw an increase in students’ participation, with Meth Gamage lending his expert eye for the profile photos and Tiran Weerasinghe interviewing the young actors for the profile write-up for the souvenir. Also contributing to the souvenir with their thoughts on the play, on the playwright and on drama were students Adithya Abeywickrama, Dinara Ariyasinghe and Dilshaath Ruqshana. The image for the tickets and the cover were designed by Arani Akmeemana. With encouraging comments from the audience on acting, costume, make-up, setting and the overall execution, it was an exhilarating performance, indeed!

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