Swansea University’s Shoreline Theatre’s production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ brought Oscar Wilde’s classic to life with bounding enthusiasm.
Re-envisioned in the roaring jazz age, the period costumes and décor gave the performance a charming character, which was heightened by the cosy YMCA venue. Laurence Atkinson captured lead role Jack Worthing’s increasingly desperate situation convincingly, whilst Ollie Jones seemed at home as the confident cucumber munching Algernon.
Other notable performers were Pearl Nunn as the disdainful Lady Bracknell and Sophie Muzika as the simpering Gwendolen, but all of the all-student cast performed their characters well, overcoming the in some cases huge age gap skilfully.
Although at some points special effects were limited, with a performer stomping to represent Jack’s wild search for the handbag, it served as a reminder of the difficulties faced by a student production and added to the charm.
The performance was funny throughout- true to Wilde’s original banter and with new gags slipped in, and the exaggerated long suffering mirror-butler Merriman (Tim Gilbert) consistently produced laughs from the audience. Shoreline’s production inspired “absolute confidence” in me.