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Teen Critic Reviews: The Importance of Being Earnest

Teen Critic’s respond to The Importance of Being Earnest

STC’s Teen Critic’s program provides District area high school students with a chance to refine their writing skills and critical eye.  Below are excerpts from their reviews of The Importance of Being Earnest.

Zoe Johnson, Montgomery Blair High School

“Earnest,” which was directed by Keith Baxter, is centered around the escapades of John Worthing (the charming and expressive Gregory Wooddell), who falls in love with Miss Gwendolen Fairfax (Vanessa Morosco, with impressive dramatic flair), and Worthing’s best friend Algernon Moncrieff (the adorably ridiculous Anthony Roach), who falls for Worthing’s ward Cecily Cardew (the impeccably nutty Katie Fabel). Playing interference is Lady Bracknell (Sian Phillips, with pitch-perfect haughtiness), along with Cecily’s governess Miss Prism (the terrifically ditzy Patricia Conolly). The acting is across-the-board well-executed, making it easy to focus on Wilde’s witty, intelligent comedy.

Connor Hennessey, The Potomac School

The stage and costume design is extravagantly beautiful to say the least. After the first intermission, the stage changes from a lightly decorated parlour to a luscious garden covered in different kinds of flowers. The garden was not simply a painted backdrop, it felt real and alive. It was an absolute pleasure to see the actors interact in this lavish setting. The costumes as well are incredibly flashy and flamboyant. Both the scenic designer, Simon Higlett, and the costume designer, Robert Perdziola, should be praised for making the atmosphere and actors stand out, resulting in a memorable performance.

Abbey Bonin, Oakton High School

The actors make the predictable outcome a delicious morsel worth waiting for.  All are strong, attractive and believable in their roles.  Lady Bracknell, played by Sian Phillips, from the famed I Claudius series, dominates as the controlling mother and aunt who seeks to arrange a marriage for her daughter to a wealthy man who matches her social status.  Algernon and Jack create a lively banter as wealthy scoundrels who must navigate the rules of the English society.  Floyd King, a regular at STC, adds his own special brand of mischief as the country minister who conveniently appears at Jack’s country home.  This play about English manners may not be new to you, but you will be delightfully entertained by this version and inspired by the Oscar Wilde comedy that still keeps audiences laughing.

Tara Holman, George Mason High School

The Importance of Being Earnest heralds excellence from the elegant setting to the presence of renowned actress Siân Phillips as Lady Bracknell. A classic written in 1865, the play retains its celebrated status under the direction of Keith Baxter. The setting, costumes, lighting, and other theatrical elements are superb, but, take backstage to the dialogue. Although the dialogue is subtly applied, its prominence is made evident as the actions of the characters are driven through the dialogue. Additionally, the dialogue weaves satirical thoughts throughout the play indicating the central theme: the triviality of the life we live.

Seamus Kirkpatrick, School Without Walls

As the shimmering gold curtains, recycled from Forum, parted at the start of the second act, an audible gasp and then applause was heard from the audience.  This was the awed reaction to the beautiful Victorian set, designed by Simon Higlett.  Robert Perdziola’s elaborate costumes combined with the elegant backdrop to create a visually stunning production of The Importance of Being Earnest.  The opulent production quality lived up to Oscar Wilde’s ideals without hindering the performance.

Ivy Williams, KIPP DC College Preparatory

Siân Phillips who played Lady Bracknell was a outstanding actress. Her smart wits radiated the stage with her performance. Her presence demanded all attention on her. With her words, it was if I was transported into her world and actually in her presence. Siân Phillips dominated the stage every time she entered.

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