Based on the play by Oscar Wilde, the production is written by writer/broadcaster Yasmeen Khan (EastEnders).
The full cast is Gurjeet Singh (Ackley Bridge, Wuthering Heights) who will play the title role of Earnest/Jamil, Tom Dixon (Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet) as Algy, Mina Anwar (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, The Thin Blue Line) as Ms Begum, Nikki Patel (Trojan Horse, Coronation Street) as Gul, Zoe Iqbal (Finding Fatimah, Ackley Bridge) as Safina and Melanie Marshall (Jane Eyre) as Miss Prism. With appearances from finalist of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Divina De Campo, as herself, star of stage and screen Paul Chahidi as international film director Steve Merriman, award-winning actor, comedian and writer Hugh Dennis as Tony, actress Harriet Thorpe as Algy’s agent Alison and comedian Sindhu Vee as daytime TV presenter, Libby. The production will be directed by Mina Anwar, who will also play the role of Ms Begum, with costume and set design by Holly Pigott, sound design by Dave Bintley, lighting design by Douglas Kuhrt and assistant direction from Eleri Jones and Olivia Race.
This new adaptation runs until May 4 and transposes the original narrative of Wilde’s classic comedy to the cobbles and stone walls of the north. The updated narrative follows the story of struggling actor Jamil and rom-com star Algy, who come together in the pursuit of love, being true to yourself and Nando’s.
Mina Anwar, director and star of The Importance of Being Earnest, said: “I’m delighted to be directing and acting in this brilliant adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Yasmeen Khan.
“ This is my homage to the perfect hybrid of theatre and television, the studio sitcom. Set in the acting world, Yasmeen has blended the wit, the farce and the fabulous characters of Wilde’s original with a hilarious, contemporary and distinctively
Northern flavour. To tell this story we have brought together an extraordinary team of theatre and film makers. We cannot wait to share it with the world”.
The Importance of Being Earnest has been captured on location at the Lawrence Batley Theatre and The Dukes and is set to push the theatrical form by combining traditional theatrical techniques with film and radio play. Tickets are available from importanceofbeingearnest.com with audience members receiving a link at the point of booking which will activate at 00:01 GMT on their booked performance date for a 48 hour period.