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RO Importance of Being Earnest live stream 2nd April


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The Importance of Being Earnest


Free live stream on Saturday 2 April at 7.25pm (BST)

If you couldn’t get tickets or want to see it again – the chance is here as we bring you The Importance of Being Earnest live and for free on the Royal Opera House YouTube Channel.

After a sell-out run at the Linbury Studio Theatre in 2013, The Royal Opera has taken Ramin Gray’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest to the Barbican and now online.

Oscar Wilde’s great comedy is refashioned in a suitably bold and bonkers way by Gerald Barry in this acclaimed operatic version. The plot alone is packed with comic potential. Jack and his friend Algernon are in a pickle: they love Gwendolen and Cecily, but there is confusion over who is called Earnest – a name of which both girls are very fond. The comedy unfurls through a wonderfully idiosyncratic score of virtuoso orchestral colour, giddy with cucumber sandwiches, smashed plates and megaphones.

Gray’s production is surprising and inventive as it delights in the opera’s kaleidoscope of music and manners. For the anarchic-at-heart, this is definitely a must-see.

So join us online on Saturday 2 April at 7.25pm (BST). 

The live stream of The Importance of Being Earnest is delivered in association with BBC Arts. The performance will be available to watch shortly after the live stream on the BBC Arts online page and the ROH website for 30 days.


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Three different reviewers have used the exact same word: "genuinely" funny. What do people think? Did this show make you laugh? "Genuinely" laugh (and what kind of shows produce laughter which is not "genuine")? Or did one have to be there?

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I saw this for no other reason than I hadn't seen it before. And, yes, there were ongoing belly-laughs from the stalls to the circle from start to finish.


My first impression was that the theatre must be full of teenagers until a mid-thirties or thereabouts woman informed me on the way out how fantastic she thought it had been.


To be fair, the performances were completely committed, having Lady Bracknell sung by a baritone was something of a master-stroke and it was difficult not to come out on a high so I can't say that I actively disliked it, just that I've now ticked that box and won't be going that way again. And the words 'clothes', 'new' and 'emperor's' are still dancing dangerously at the back of my head.

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