Falling in love with theatre (again): The Importance of Being Earnest


My university experience has been wonderful so far! After initial fears about my inadequacy to keep up, I think I am starting to fall into a pleasant routine …

But the greatest thing about uni is that it never really lets you drown in routine, not if you take advantage of all the marvellous opportunities that are offered to students. Some you might need to seek out, others are served up on a silver platter.

Earnest was a bit of both.

The play served as the opening for the Hart House Theatre’s 2014-15 season. It had a rather short running period, September 19 to October 4, and I saw it on the closing night.

No word in your biggest dictionary can encapsulate my excitement. The performance was FANTASTIC! Sitting in the front row of the small and cozy theatre, I could not stop smiling at Wilde’s wit and the actors’ brilliant way of bringing it alive. Plays really are meant to be performed. No reading experience can substitute a show.

Seeing Earnest helped me remember just how fascinating theatre can be, and how much I love a good performance! The actors’ energy transcends the stage, their excitement fills you, makes you part of the play. The costumes, the set, the thought put into individual props — a teacup, a book — everything adds to the effect, reminds of the effort put into a project. As much as I love ink and paper, they cannot achieve that same effect.

My only disappointment that night was the relatively chilly reaction from the audience. I was expecting a standing ovation (and, as my friend who saw the play on the opening night assured me, the performance has received one before). My own claps were engulfed in the general applause, but I wish they sounded louder. If the gratitude actors receive for injecting people with emotion, be it happy or sad, if that gratitude must come out in the form of noise — let there be cacophony!

As my mother and I descended into the subway and secured our seats (on the night of Nuit Blance that’s quite a feat!), we shared our impressions, favourite moments and surprises. The next day my friend and I did the same. A good performance lasts beyond the curtain drop. Earnest is still with me.

This was not a review. I have concluded that I can never review something that I really enjoyed, unless I am opting for feverish and one-sided praise. 🙂

Read my review of Wilde’s play.

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