The Importance of Being Earnest, the fourth and final show in Classic Spring’s year-long celebration of Oscar Wilde at the Vaudeville Theatre, closes next Saturday, 20 October.
This unprecedented theatrical experiment has encompassed 582 performances of 7 different shows, performed by 74 cast members. Over 170,000 tickets were sold across the season, with 12% of people who came to see a show booking for one or more of the others.
The season kicked off in October 2017 with A Woman of No Importance, directed by Dominic Dromgoole and starring Eve Best and Anne Reid. Over the Christmas period Wilde Creatures, a family show created by Tall Stories, delighted children and adults alike. Simon Callow’s contemplative one-man performance of De Profundis, adapted by Frank McGuinness, then premiered for a limited run of six performances, followed by the effervescent hilarity of Kathy Burke’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, starring Jennifer Saunders. The Selfish Giant, a musical by long-time Robbie Williams collaborator Guy Chambers, then premiered at the Vaudeville before transferring to the Royal & Derngate, Northampton. Jonathan Church’s production of An Ideal Husband, starring Freddie and Edward Fox, enjoyed a hugely acclaimed run before transferring to Theatre Royal Bath. And finally, The Importance of Being Earnest with Fiona Button and Sophie Thompson will finish its run this Saturday night. Pre-show talks were also offered by luminaries such as Stephen Fry, Merlin Holland and Franny Moyle.
A Woman of No Importance, Lady Windermere’s Fan and An Ideal Husband were all broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and Europe. The final live cinema broadcast, The Importance of Being Earnest, will go out to 446 cinemas nationwide tomorrow evening from 7.15pm. To date there have been over 1,750 cinema screenings in 22 countries worldwide.
Over 20,000 tickets under £20 have been made available across the season, encouraging younger audiences and making the season as accessible as possible.
Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Classic Spring, said: “It has been a delight and a privilege to pioneer a season devoted to a particular writer in the West End. Young and old audiences, innocents and connoisseurs, have all sampled the pleasures of Oscar’s wit, many of them for the first time, and the complex taste of human sympathy and moral interrogation. It has been a joy to bring brilliant writing, great actors and audiences into a room together. Classic Spring hopes to be back before long with further celebrations.”
CLASSIC SPRING: A year-long celebration of Oscar Wilde
Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London WC2R 0NH
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Michael Fentiman
20 July to 20 October 2018
Live cinema broadcast: Tuesday 9 October, 7.15pm
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday matinees: 2.30pm
Please visit classicspring.co.uk for a detailed performance schedule
Box office: 0330 333 4814 / classicspring.co.uk Tickets from £19.50, with reduced price previews
Please visit oscarwildecinema.com for more information about the cinema broadcasts
The first three productions from the season return to cinemas in 2019 with the #WildeWednesdays Encore Screenings:
A Woman of No Importance: 23 January 2019
Lady Windermere’s Fan: 27 February 2019
An Ideal Husband: 27 March 2019