THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST - Two Gents Productions & Tara Arts
Having never seen a show from Two Gents productions or at Tara Theatre for that matter, I had no idea what to expect from their co-production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Taking on the show with only two actors is a feat in itself and the importance of the delivery is integral in keeping the audience engaged and understanding the plot.

But what a joy the show was, Ayesha Casely-Hayford and Kudzanayi Chiwawa’s energy and personality drove the show. There was an honest sense of play and enjoyment throughout the piece. Barely a few moments would go by before the audience began to laugh again and although the women were constantly switching between their characters (or fighting each other for the next) they still managed to bring a sense of themselves and their African heritage whilst staying true to the farce.

Being that there were only two actors on stage audience interaction was encouraged, stopping to have conversations with the audience and even bringing them onstage to be some of the characters themselves. There is no time to switch off during this show as the Actress’s are beautifully connected with each other and will stop to check in and make sure you are following what is happening.

The staging and props were simplistic using the uniqueness of the high brick wall space they were in and the Sports Direct bag was a definite reminder of modern day England. The show begins with the Actress’ entering the space playing Janelle Monáe’s Pynk on their iphone and setting up their interchangeable backdrop of the British countryside along with a list of the four to five characters each Actress will be playing. Comically throughout the show there seems to be a battle to be the best Zimbabwean Lady Bracknell. The house lights stayed up the entire time which aided in encouraging audience participation at all times with the audience even making farm yard animal sounds and being used as Casely-Hayford garden roses.

If you’re looking to laugh and dive into the playground of Oscar Wilde then this is the show to see, the adult audience had the chance to play together on a drizzling Thursday evening and the pleasure and amusement of that was apparent long after we left the theatre.