Wildely improbable. Amid a flurry of mistaken identity, witty banter and cucumber sandwiches, Oscar Wilde created the most elegant of comedies of manners.Key photography by Earl Carter, rehearsal photography by Pam Kleeman
For my swan song at MTC – at least as its Artistic Director – I’m determined to go out joyfully (and perhaps a little sentimentally). Some of you may remember my 1988 production of Wilde’s dazzling masterpiece. Thanks to an astonishing cast and an exquisite design, it ran for over a year, touring the entire country. Although it was one of the happiest experiences of my career, I can’t think about it now without some sadness. Ruth Cracknell, Monica Maughan, Frank Thring and Gordon Chater, all astonishing in the original, are no longer with us. But Jane Menelaus and Geoffrey Rush, who played the handbag-crossed lovers Gwendolyn and Jack, are in their artistic prime and will step up a generation to play Miss Prism and Lady Bracknell respectively! The roles they vacated will be taken by bright new things Christie Whelan and Toby Schmitz, while Bob Hornery, Canon Chasuble in the original, will play the two butlers originated by Frank Thring. It also means the world to me to put Tony Tripp’s set on the Sumner stage, a tribute to another luminary member of our dear departed.
Artistic Director Simon Phillips