U of L explores language and lies in the Importance of Being Earnest


The University of Lethbridge  is excited to bring Oscar Wilde’s classic 1895 comedy “the Importance of Being Earnest” to the University Theatre, Nov. 22-26 at 7:30 p.m. every night.Cecily Cardew played by  Jacqueline Halase, sips some tea during U of l’s production of the Importance of Being Earnest, Nov. 22-26 at University Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery

“It has beautiful language,” said Rebecca Fauser who plays  Gwendolen Fairfax in the play, one of two women competing for the attentions of the elusive Ernest.

“(Director) Andrew Legg has really helped us find the humour and bring it back to our own experiences,” added Jacqueline Halase, who plays the younger would be suitor Cecily Cardew, who competes with Fairfax for Ernest’s attentions.

She is enjoying playing Cecily.

“She’s the younger of the two characters and she’s a dreamer who is always making up stories and poems about love and writing in her diary,” Halase said.

“Gwendolyn is very high society. She has huge expectations  and very strong ideals about society,” Fauser said.
“And we’re both engaged to Ernest,” Halase added.


“I hope people will really enjoy the humour because Andrew has really helped bring it to life,” Halase continued.


Rebecca Fauser plays the worldly Gwendolen Fairfax in the U of L’s production of the Importance of Being Earnest, Nov. 22-26 at University Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery
“I still laugh because I’m still finding out what the jokes mean,” Fauser enthused.
 Director Andrew Legg, who has directed Shakespeare in the park’s productions of As You Like It”  and “A Midsummer Night’s dream,” is no stranger to bringing  out the humour of the classics for contemporary audiences.

 “You need to look at  what the contemporary equivalents are so you get all the jokes and understand the context. For example people used to keep diaries, now they write on Facebook. Do you show it to people or not,” he observed.
 Legg has enjoyed working on  The Importance of Being Earnest, which is a secret project of professor Douglas MacArthur, who also appears in the play.

“It is a cast of eight which is large nowadays on stage and we have a very large crew. It’s a good ensemble,” Legg enthused, who has taught most of the students and has worked with many of the crew before.
While the play is about Gwendolyn and  Cecily’s pursuit of the elusive Ernest, it is about more than that according to Legg.

“ It’s about lies you tell people to be fashionable and to pursue love. The two girls are in love with Ernest, but Ernest is a lie. They are more in love with the idea of being ‘Earnest,’” he said.
Tickets for The Importance of Being Earnest are available at the U of L Box Office, Monday – Friday (12:30 pm – 3:30 pm) or by calling (403) 329-2616. Tickets are also available online: ulethbridge.ca/tickets. Ticket prices are $18 regular, $13 senior/alumni, $12 students.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor