AS Knutsford Little Theatre presents Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy, Viv Cunningham explains why the town should get down to the venue to watch 'The Importance of Being Earnest'.

If you like Wilde and you like words, you will love 'The Importance of Being Earnest'; Knutsford Little Theatre’s latest production.

By clever use of pun and paradox, Wilde pokes fun at the manners and the attitude to marriage of the hypocritical Victorian gentry.

Two young gentlemen have secret lives for their own social reasons. Algernon Moncrieff invents an invalid friend called Bunbury in order to escape to the country.

His friend Jack Worthing, (Ernest in town), has an imaginary reprobate brother who gives him the pretext to come to London.

They become enamoured of two young women who both feel bound to marry someone by the name of Ernest.

Confusion reigns as Gwendolen and Cecily meet and are each under the impression that they are engaged to Ernest Worthing.

Gwendolen’s intimidating mother, Lady Bracknell forbids her daughter and Jack to marry because of his questionable parentage.

The truth is revealed by way of an extraordinary explanation from Cecily’s governess, Miss Prism, involving a lost baby, a handbag and a mislaid manuscript.

However, it requires some old-fashioned blackmail in the drawing room to resolve the situation.

Director Noel Cornes is supported by his talented cast and crew and the elegant scenery is worthy of special mention. Pete Blain is well cast as the mischievous dandy, Algernon; neatly counterbalanced by the more roguish Jack, played by Curtis Washburn.

Sarah De Lisle as Gwendolen and Charlotte Ashworth as Cecily are wonderfully matched as the “instant friends” who perform a memorable war of manners during the ceremony of English afternoon tea.

Bob Jennings serves them with restraint as Merriman the manservant and also plays Lane, the superior butler. Miss Prism’s complex character is revealed with confidence by Laura Bason while Graham Brown is convincingly creepy as her admirer, Canon Chasuble. Sarah Lorenz is a galleon in full sail as the formidable Lady Bracknell.

Delight in the traditional sweeping entrances and exits and enjoy Wilde’s lavishly floral language in this crisp, essentially English comedy.

The play held at the theatre's Queen Street base runs from Wednesday, April 15 to Saturday, April 18.

Doors and bar open 7pm, curtain up at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £8, call 01565 633000 or email