Seeing what’s important
FINANCIAL concerns forced UWA's University Dramatic Society to change their end-of-April production two weeks into the rehearsal period.
However, there would be few complaining about the Society's alternative choice, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.
UDS president and Earnest director Nina Heymanson said they decided it was better to produce something rather than nothing and although the production would not be as lavish as Wilde probably would have liked, they were keeping as much to the traditional late Victorian text as possible.
“It's been positive and everyone has jumped into it with quite a lot of gumption,” Heymanson said.
“They've all been excited about finding their characters and creating relationships and the costuming is so different from anything we've done recently.
“This is the first established play we've staged in about five years, so people are getting quite excited about the variety and the different kinds of characters Oscar Wilde created.”
Ben Thomas (Claremont), Rebecca Egan(Leederville), Grace Chapple (Nedlands) and Rupert Williamson (Subiaco) play the leads in the popular farcical comedy, which follows two friends, Jack and Algernon, who adopt fictitious identities to avoid social obligations between their city and country lives.
Heymanson, who is studying a Bachelor of Arts in English and psychology at UWA, plus a Diploma in Modern Languages, said she loved Wilde's wittiness.
“I have a strong love for the British sense of humour in the way that it's slightly self-deprecating,” she said.
“Every line said on stage was picked specifically and run over many times, and I have a lot of respect for that kind of a dedication from any artist.”
Heymanson said she hoped audiences would see Wilde's work for what it was: a critique of the materialistic, superficial nature of society at the time.
“So while it is very funny, enjoyable and I'm hoping people walk away feeling really entertained and that they went to a good show, I want them to think a little bit as well, because we also live in a very materialistic, modern day,” she said.
“There are so many human values far more important than what people wear or where they come from in society.”