“The Importance of Being Earnest” an Oscar Wilde play 


Photos courtesy of: smes.org, collaged together using PicsArt

Looking to be rid of societal norms and expectations for a duration of 2 hours and 25 minutes? Take a stroll over to St. Margaret’s Episcopal School to see The Importance of Being Earnest!

In the Victorian era of London, England circa 1837 to 1901; Queen Victoria’s reign, two men lead a doubling life both acting as if their christened name is Earnest. The Importance of Being Earnest, a well-written Oscar Wilde intellectual comedy is nonetheless a play within a play as Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing each try to level up to be a better man, an earnest man.

Leaving out their real names Algernon and Jack, each capture a girl that loves them solely for the name of Earnest, only to find one wasn’t so far off.

Gracing the audience with her presence is Madeline Bendzick who plays Gwendolyn Fairfax the love interest to Jack Worthing. More accurately; Bendzick is the lead actress in The Importance of Being Earnest. Consistently using her accent through every scene, Bendzick portrays a mannered lady who has found her place in society but is ultimately searching for love. It is as if Madeline Bendzick is trapped in the mind and soul of her character as she seems to have mastered the gentle yet forward ways of Gwendolyn Fairfax. Playing Algernon Moncrieff a relatable character is sensational lead actor Malcolm Matthew. With every reaction he saw to, Matthew used continuous body language to represent his character’s feelings and emotions, almost as if he and the characters were one and the same. Even when the lines were not his own Malcolm Matthew still sought to give point to what his character would do using facial expressions.

Jack Worthing the other Earnest took his rightful place as best supporting actor as Jack Klausner, leading his character to develop and reach its highest potential. As the supporting actress, Gigi Policicchio plays Cecily Cardew a polite young woman. With mannered reactions, Policicchio put her best foot forward when bringing her character to life.

Lane the butler to Algernon Moncrieff played by Mac Ullem is rightfully the comedic actor of The Importance of Being Earnest as with each “yes, sir” he humorously replied, the audience was left chuckling out a laugh every time. Stiffly making his way into each scene carrying whatever prop was necessary for the room he further relieved the audience of their societal expectations.

With a vibrant yet ever-changing backdrop done by the lighting crew, the set was done up with flowery prints on furniture to match. The makeup and hair team was at times historically accurate as hair was in the face for some but with the character of Jack his hair was spot as it was slicked back with a part in the middle.

The Importance of Being Earnest at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School is a sophisticated satire that goes far beyond the expectations of society yet limits them to where they are unnecessary.