The Classic Spring Oscar Wilde Collection
Live performances of four classic plays by Oscar Wilde with star-studded casts from London’s West End
The Oscar Wilde Season at the Vaudeville in October 2018 was the first offering from Classic Spring, Dominic Dromgoole’s new theatre company, founded as he left Shakespeare’s Globe. The season revolved around Wilde’s four great Victorian plays, which shocked and redefined British theatre when first performed, and still resonate today.
A Woman of No Importance
Olivier award-winner Eve Best (The King’s Speech, Nurse Jackie), Eleanor Bron (Help!, A Little Princess) and BAFTA-nominated actress Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax, The Mother) star in this new classically staged production directed by Dominic Dromgoole, former Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe.
An earnest young American woman, a louche English lord, and an innocent young chap join a house party of fin de siècle fools and grotesques. Nearby a woman lives, cradling a long buried secret. First performed in 1893, Wilde’s marriage of glittering wit and Ibsenite drama satirised the socially conservative world of the Victorian upper-class, creating a vivid new theatrical voice.
“Wonderfully moving…sublimely funny” The Independent
Lady Windermere’s Fan
Directed by comedy legend and Cannes Best Actress, Kathy Burke (Nil by Mouth, Kevin and Perry Go Large) and starring Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, French and Saunders), the double Olivier Award-winning Samantha Spiro, and Joseph Marcell (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air).
The day of Lady Windermere’s birthday party, and all is perfectly in order. Until her friend Lord Darlington plants a seed of suspicion. Is her husband having an affair? And will the other woman really attend the party? First performed in 1892, Lady Windermere’s Fan explores the ambiguity of upper class morality and the fragile position of women in the late Victorian era. It has always proved one of Wilde’s most popular and witty plays.
“Jennifer Saunders delivers a scene-stealing, scenery-devouring performance” The Stage
An Ideal Husband
The Rolls-Royce of English comedies, this new production is directed by Jonathan Church. Entertaining and still topical, the play brings an act of political sin into the heart of the English home. As an ambitious government minister, Sir Robert Chiltern’s smooth ascent to the top seems assured until Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning proof of a previous financial scandal.
The talented ensemble cast includes real-life father and son Edward Fox (The Audience, The Day of the Jackal) and Freddie Fox (The Judas Kiss, Riot Club, Pride), Olivier Award-nominated Frances Barber (Silk, Antony and Cleopatra), Olivier Award-winner Nathaniel Parker (This House, Wolf Hall), Sally Bretton (Not Going Out, King Lear) and Susan Hampshire (Forsyte Saga, Monarch of the Glen).
“Perfection…could have been written yesterday.” British Theatre
The Importance of Being Earnest
Widely considered one of the funniest plays in English, Oscar Wilde’s much-loved masterpiece throws love, logic and language into the air to make one of theatre’s most dazzling firework displays. Jack, Algy, Gwendolyn and Cecily discover how unsmooth runs the course of true love, while Lady Bracknell keeps a baleful eye on the mayhem of manners.
Michael Fentiman’s witty new production stars Olivier Award-winner Sophie Thompson (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Guys and Dolls) and Jeremy Swift (Downton Abbey, Wanderlust), alongside Fiona Button (The Split), Pippa Nixon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Stella Gonet (The Cry).
“Unforgettable, life-enhancing…absolutely hilarious” WhatsOnStage