Press Releases

An Ideal Husband

7 Jun 2018

Oscar Wilde’s effervescent society drama An Ideal Husband sees the incomparable Gina Riley (Kath & Kim) and William McInnes (The Time of Our Lives) lead an all-star cast including Simon Gleeson (Hay Fever), Brent Hill (Little Shop of Horrors), Michelle Lim Davidson (Utopia), Zindzi Okenyo (Disgraced), Josh Price (Going Down), Greta Sherriff (Oklahoma!) and Christie Whelan Browne (Muriel’s Wedding, The Musical), with newcomers Jem Lai and Joseph Lai.

Directed by MTC Associate Director Dean Bryant (Wild), this lavish winter spectacle opens on Friday 20 July at Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse.

Dean Bryant said, ‘I’m not sure if anyone has sculpted the English language into more hilarious and unexpected shapes than Oscar Wilde. In An Ideal Husband, he throws a whole lot of drama into the mix, showing a society not too far removed from ours, where a carefully built reputation can be wrecked in seconds by one dubious decision. I’m thrilled to bring his world to life with this superlative cast – a team who can walk that Wildean tightrope of gravitas and campery.’

Successful politician Sir Robert Chiltern has it all – money, power and the love of his adoring wife. But when the mysterious Mrs Cheveley threatens to expose a dark secret from his past, will his reputation, career and marriage be ruined?

In this undisputed classic, dukes, dandies and unmarried daughters gather in drawing rooms to sip tea, exchange gossip and flirt. Comically ravishing characters engage in witty repartee, holding a mirror up to late-Victorian society values. However, this story is more than a humorous battle of the sexes. Insider trading, political corruption, hypocrisy and blackmail hold the intrigue in a comedy that, for all its touches of melodrama and farce, offers poignant insights into human frailty.

MTC Associate Director Dean Bryant is one of Australia’s most accomplished and versatile directors. For MTC he has directed Wild, Vivid White, Born Yesterday, Skylight, I’ll Eat You Last and Next to Normal. Dean also worked on Macbeth, The Drowsy Chaperone, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (and STC season), Hitchcock Blonde and Urinetown (and STC season) for the Company. His other directing credits include Sweet Charity (Helpmann Award, Best Director of a Musical) and Little Shop of Horrors for Hayes Theatre Company, Anything Goes (Opera Australia/GFO), Once We Lived Here (London season), DreamSong (Theatre Works), Straight (Red Stitch), The Last Five Years, Prodigal, Virgins: A Musical Threesome and five musicals for The Production Company. With composer Mathew Frank, he wrote Green Room award-winning musicals Prodigal and Once We Lived Here, as well as Britney Spears: The Cabaret, Virgins: A Musical Threesome, The Silver Donkey and an Amy Winehouse musical for Channel 10’s Mr & Mrs Murder. Dean created verbatim piece Gaybies (Midsumma, Darlinghurst Theatre Company). Dean is Worldwide Associate Director of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – The Musical and is a graduate of WAAPA.

Cast Simon Gleeson, Brent Hill, Jem Lai, Joseph Lai, Michelle Lim Davidson, William McInnes, Zindzi Okenyo, Josh Price, Gina Riley, Greta Sherriff, Christie Whelan Browne

Director Dean Bryant
Set and Costume Designer Dale Ferguson
Lighting Designer Matt Scott
Composer and Sound Designer Mathew Frank
Voice and Dialect Coach Leith McPherson
Assistant Director Ellen Simpson
Assistant Costume Designer Sophie Woodward

‘The most effervescently serious comedy Wilde ever wrote, as well as one of the funniest.’ New York Times

‘Runs like an intricately plotted noir thriller with a fine coating of wit.’ The Daily Express

Season dates
16 July – 18 August

Opening night
Friday 20 July

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse

03 8688 0800
1300 182 183


Published on 7 June 2018