The Importance of Being Earnest

Yesterday we enjoyed a splendid outdoor performance of The Importance of Being Earnest by Chapterhouse Theatre, at Lytham Hall. After a very hot spell, the weather was perfect, cool and drier. We had a picnic in the grounds before settling down to a fantastic perfomance.

This is probably one of my favourite plays. I adore Lady Bracknell as well as Miss Prism, in fact, there isn't a character I don't love. I've seen The Importance of Being Earnest so many times, and I never tire of it. Every performance brings out an aspect of the play I hadn't thought about before. This time, Chris and I were discussing the Woman's Property Act of 1882 on the way home! We were speculating whether this affected how Sir Thomas Cardew's property had been bequeathed. To Jack - the property, to Cecily - money. But, as the play was written in 1895, the Act would have meant Sir Thomas Cardew could have left his property to his granddaughter, Cecily. We wondered why Jack, a foundling, was so well looked after.

I have to confess that, whilst I've always loved the play, when I first encountered it, and for many years afterwards, I was confused by the term "bunburying". This is a critical element of the play, and much of the action hangs on Jack's habit of "bunburying". As a child we lived in Chester and had good friends in the lovely village of Bunbury. So, I always assumed that Jack was visiting an actual place. It took me years to work this out!

We had such a lovely evening. It really is the perfect weather for outdoor theatre. Next week we're off to Ruthin for a performance of Twelfth Night in the gardens of the beautiful Nantclwyd y Dre. Let's hope the thunderstorms have passed over by then.