Hit interactive show, “The Importance of Being… Earnest?” to play The Core at Corby Cube

After a phenomenally critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe run in 2022, and previous London Fringe theatre success, the hugely popular play heads to Corby 28 - 30 September 2023 as part of a 37-week UK tour.
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In a riotous twist on a much-loved Oscar Wilde classic, The Importance of Being… Earnest? opens to looming disaster; the actor playing Ernest in Oscar Wilde’s famed farce fails to arrive on cue. In a monumental effort to ‘save the show’, a real audience member is quickly cast in the lead role. But this impetuous recasting sets off a hilarious chain of events that, one-by-one, renders the rest of the cast unable to continue their performances.As more audience members are encouraged to step into the spotlight, led backstage for costume and make-up, impromptu auditions, the painting of portraits, the chanting of mantras; doing whatever’s needed to help the show go on, an absurd controlled madness ensues – until it feels as if there are almost as many audience members in the cast as there are in the audience.

Developed alongside the company’s flagship open-rehearsal initiative, where audiences are invited into the rehearsal room to participate in the creative process, the show is written by Josh King, Simon Paris and Say It Again, Sorry?, and is directed by Simon Paris.

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"All of the audience participation in …Earnest? Is completely voluntary," explains Simon. "The show is equally fun to get up on-stage, as it is to watch others volunteer and join the fun.

The Importance of Being... Earnest?The Importance of Being... Earnest?
The Importance of Being... Earnest?

"The show came about through the idea of offering unsuspecting audience members the chance to step out of their comfort zone, take a risk and become a star.

"We have noticed that the audience members who decide to volunteer to perform in our show become local legends for the rest of the festival and are regularly spotted by other audience members."

This is a comedic masterpiece of meticulous logistics, meritoriously involved audiences, masterful stage management and celebrity cameos.

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The Importance of Being... Earnest? Is an exciting and hilarious experience both to watch and be part of as the innovative format creates an unexpected new experience every night. It’s a show for anyone who has enjoyed the high-jinx of The Play That Goes Wrong, Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare and Austentatious.

"I think Oscar would relish in artists taking his work and having fun with it in the most irreverent way possible," says Simon. "I’m sure he’d walk out of the theatre and say some incredibly droll one-liner, like, 'I used to think the biggest tragedy for art was to be ignored, but now I see it is to be adapted.'"

The Importance of Being… Earnest? will play at The Core at Corby Cube on Thursday, 28 September - Saturday, 30 September 2023.

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