Brisbane-based theatre/comedy company Act React is turning Oscar Wilde on his head in a classic comedy of manners with a twist, playing as part of Perth's Fringe World Festival.
That twist? This performance of 'The Importance Of Being Earnest' features one very important guest star: alcohol.
The aptly-named 'The Importance Of Being Wasted' includes all the delight of Oscar Wilde's wit, paired with inebriated actors just trying to make it through the performance under the influence.
Actor Daren King, who plays the charmer Algernon in the show, says Act React's adaptation is more streamlined, more energetic, and ramps up the sexual tension.
"We have only six actors, so that leaves four sober ones to ensure the tipsy two stay somewhat on track,” Daren says. "It's great to have a play in a 9.30pm slot, which often goes to circus and cabaret acts. We'll be bringing laughs, great lines and liquor – what more could you want?"
The slightly-sozzled brains at Act React have previously presented 'Speed: The Movie, The Play', 'Love/Hate Actually' and 'Raven On' at Fringe World. This is the West Australian debut of 'The Importance Of Being Wasted'.
“'The Importance Of Being Earnest' is a delicious satirical romp through upper crust English society, famous for its rapid-fire dialogue and precise comic timing,” Act React Producer and Performer Natalie Bochenski says.
“It’s a play that requires focus and clarity of speech – so we throw booze into the mix to see what happens.”
Actor Ellen Hardisty, who plays self-assured Cecily, says it's been four long years since Act React visited the WA capital, selling out its hit bus-based show 'Speed: The Movie, The Play'.
"The last time we performed at Fringe World was January 2020, just weeks before the COVID pandemic hit. We are so excited to finally be back with this brand-new show.”
"If you loved what we did with Keanu Reeves' work [in 'Speed: The Movie, The Play'], you'll adore what we do with Oscar Wilde's!"
'The Importance Of Being Wasted' plays The Hat Trick at The Pleasure Garden (Fringe World Perth) 9-11 February.