Gwen Taylor as Lady Bracknell

The casting for the 2018 UK tour of the Oscar Wilde play will include Gwen Taylor and Susan Penhaligon.

The tour will begin on 24th January 2018 at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, ending on 28th April in Eastbourne. The show will tour locations including Winchester, Manchester, Bath, Plymouth and York, among others.

Group organisers should contact their chosen theatres for information regarding ticket prices.

Synopsis: The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde’s much loved comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest, follows Jack Worthing’s endeavours to marry Algernon’s cousin, the beautiful Gwendolen. But first he must convince the fearsome Lady Bracknell of his respectability. Wilde’s classic play looks at the clash of town and country in a story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags.


Gwen Taylor will star as Lady Bracknell meanwhile Susan Penhaligon will take on the role of Miss Prism.

Gwen Taylor is best known for playing the title role in the ITV sitcom Barbara, as well as Anne Foster in Coronation Street, Peggy Armstrong in Heartbeat, and Rita Simcock in A Bit of A Do, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA TV Best Actress Award. Her film appearances include The Lady in the Van and Monty Python’s Life of Brian.  

Susan Penhaligon is currently appearing in Rufus Norris’s production of Cabaret alongside Will Young and Louise Redknapp. She has a wide range of TV credits to her name, including Upstairs Downstairs, Tales of the Unexpected, Bergerac and A Bouquet of Barbed Wire. She played Judi Dench’s sister Helen in four series of the award-winning BBC sitcom A Fine Romance, and the regular role of Jean Hope in ITV’s Emmerdale

Further casting is to be announced.

The show will be directed by The Original Theatre Company’s artistic director, Alastair Whatley, with set and costume designs by Gabriella Slade, sound and music by Giles Thomas and lighting by Alan Valentine. The UK tour is produced by Tom Hackney for The Original Theatre Company.

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