The Importance of Being Earnest
by Lorraine Payette, written November 20, 2014
In an age where the Smart Phone, texting and video games have taken the place of human contact and communication, students from the Not So Amateur Amateur Theatre Company stepped back in time to produce an evening of aristocratic fun as they performed Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”.
Using their teen actors to best advantage, the play ran for four delightful performances at the Mulberry School on Markland Street in Kingston from November 13-15. Double casting gave everyone an opportunity to shine and show the world just what they really can accomplish.
Adapted and directed by Sid Anjilvel, the play retains most of its jokes and biting satire, never dropping the wit for which Wilde was best known. Reece Young played the foppish rake, Algernon Moncrieff, skilfully while being well balanced by Ayrison Haynes as John Worthing. Anais Anjilvel brought Cecily Cardew coquettishly to life, while Sammi Holland (Gwendolyn Fairfax), Madelin Dawson (a very proper Lady Augusta Bracknell), Alex Robertson (Miss Laetitia Prism), and CJ Monsour (Rev. Canon Frederick Chusble) rounded out the cast, with an especially delightful performance by Spencer Wilson as the long suffering Lane and Merriman.
The second cast, with additional actors Corigan Ferris-Baker, Emmie Pritchard, Madeline Ferris-Baker and Tatum Joyce, also did a remarkable job.
“I like the show,” said Logan Elliott, teen audience member. “It’s really clever and the performances are really good. The actors are paying good attention and staying in character. This is the first one I’ve attended, but I plan to come to more.”
“It’s a great show,” said Noah Ross. “A lot of my friends are in it. It’s well developed, and for their age, everyone understands it very well. It’s a mature story for our age, and it’s entertaining to watch.”
Auditions were in late summer with regular rehearsals ever since, and the final product showcases that hard work. The play focuses on Wilde’s satire and critique of Victorian morals and society, much of which has changed dramatically over time, making this not only a good acting experience for the participants, but a lesson in history as well.
“I find it astonishing that these kids are able to astonish this play as well as they do,” said Amber McCart, adult audience member. “It’s just loaded with wit and good fun. Sid always seems to set ambitious goals for them, and they always seem to meet them.”
Sid Anjilvel (director) and Christine Harvey (producer) run a regular programme of camps and theatre experiences for young people known as the Not So Amateur Amateurs. Coming up later in the season is a winter holiday special called “Fire and Ice”. Audiences will be treated to two shows for the price of one at the Domino Theatre in Kingston. “Dragon’s Tale” and a version of “Frozen” will play December 18, 19 and 20 at 7:00 pm, with a matinee performance on Saturday, December 20, at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $10 each, and the shows promise a good time for people of all ages. The season continues in February with “Medusa” at the Domino Theatre, and “Romeo and Juliet” in June.
To learn more about the Not So Amateur Amateurs or to participate in one of their programmes, please go to http://www.nsaatheatre.com .