pick of the week: a woman of no importance

We love our theatre almost (almost) as much as we love our food at BOTI so we were excited to see Classic Spring’s West End production of A Woman of No Importance land for a week’s run at the Theatre Royal.

The play opened the Oscar Wilde season in the West End in 2017 and, although it’s been recast, it’s fair to say the production is as engaging now as it was then. If you’re not familiar with the play, the main plot line revolves around whether an unwed woman (scandalous!) should tell her naive son the truth when an unscrupulous lord who offers him a job turns out to be *da da dahhh* his father.

Led by a cast of British TV and stage royalty (including Liza Goddard as the elegant Lady Hunstanton hosting the scene-setting garden party and Isla Blair as the wonderfully overbearing Lady Caroline), the play takes us on a joyously barbed journey around upper-class society with Wilde poking fun at their social mores, moral hypocrisy and secrets, all while landing some all-too-current jibes at the likes of Parliament.

Victorian ballads to cover scene changes prove a nice change of pace, with Tom Jude in particular (standing in for an unwell Roy Hudd when we saw the play) getting the audience going and earning some big laughs with a fabulously base comedic ditty as Reverend Daubeny.

Dominic Dromboole’s bold revival has a satisfyingly feminist bent, too, with Wilde’s prose celebrating women in an era where expectations of them were rather worrying to say the least. So if you’re a fan of Wilde’s trademark barbed witticisms and bon mots (we particularly love this one: ‘One can survive everything nowadays, except death, and live down anything except a good reputation’), or simply a lover of language, you’re in for a treat.

Monday 23rd to Saturday 28th September, 7.45pm; from £13
New Road, Brighton BN1 1SD
Brighton Theatre Royal