The Importance of Being Earnest is the dream of most "am dram groups". But with film versions, multiple productions and a plethora of well know quotes in every scene it is very difficult for a group to make it their own.

So it was with a little trepidation that I approached St John's Players recent production, especially when I realised that circumstances meant that they would have to perform on the floor of the hall. But I need not have worried. The production was a pleasure from start to finish. The set, although minimal had all that a traditional production would require, with a just a few details to add interest. The play set off at a good pace, which was maintained throughout, without losing the wit of Oscar Wilde's script, thanks to Richard Godfrey's excellent direction. 

The two main characters of Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff were ably played by Lewis Gillon and Simon Casey. The relationship was well developed, and it was easy to believe that they had been friends for years. Algy with a twinkle in his eye, Jack more serious, though often appearing more like the younger brother, not as is later revealed the elder.

Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew were played by Elene Hadjidaniel and Marianthe Smart with great skill. And between them they produced the highlight of this delightful production, when meeting for the first time, the friendship, the falling out and the subsequent "tea" performed with admirable timing. 

No production of "Earnest" is complete without Lady Bracknell. Helen Sasia's recent accident meant the addition of a slightly non Victorian looking sling, but she skilfully diverted us away from this with her portrayal, and I waited with anticipation the "handbag" line, made so famous by Edith Evans. I was so glad that Helen did not go for impersonation, and made the line part of the plot.

Susanna Hill as Miss Prism and Basil Clarke as Dr Chasuble added to the joy of the production, As did the two men servants, John Wearing as the urbane Lane, and Colin Buck as Merryman watching the activities of Miss Cardew, with a disapproving look, and keeping maids , Hollie Brock and Caroline Regan in line.

And it was a delight to watch the two maids acting as stage crew for the scene changes, staying in character and timing the change with the music.

So I would like to thank Richard Godfrey and all his cast and crew for a wonderful production. I am now looking forward to St John's Players next production.