/ The Dublin Guide
Dublin — By Jessica Colley on June 19, 2010 at 8:16 am
Filed under: literature, theater

Bringing Oscar Wilde to Life in Dublin

For a limited engagement, Oscar Wilde is back in Dublin. A current production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ has taken over the Gaiety Theatre, bringing Wilde’s comedy back to his hometown. Complete with elaborate costumes, Stockard Channing playing the famous Lady Bracknell, and a warm summer night, this production had a recipe for success before I even took my seat.

The Gaiety Theatre isn’t my favorite in the city, but it does benefit from an extraordinary location just off Grafton Street. Located on a popular thoroughfare, the Gaiety benefits from foot traffic, and everyone always seems to know what is showing. When the posters for Wilde’s beloved play appeared, the lines were out the door at the box office. This week I took my seat about 10 rows back from the stage and watched Wilde’s magic unfold.

I had only read ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (not seen it on stage) and I remember giggling as I turned the pages. The actors breathed life in Wilde’s words, proving that some comedy is timeless. The costumes and some of the language was of a different time, but the situations and humor still struck home with the audience. Disapproving parents, young love, and lies were a formula for success during Wilde’s time, and they still work today.

Stockard Channing brilliantly embodied the character of Lady Bracknell. Her intricate dresses, hats, scarves, and gloves served as props, sometimes comedic ones, and I couldn’t get over how believable her British accent was. All of the actors had their own lovable traits, and their chemistry made every moment of the play enjoyable. During the intermission, the crowd spilled out into a warm summer evening for a drink before the sun went down.

Tickets for the Gaiety aren’t cheap; for this production tickets ranged from 42 – 50 euros and ticketmaster charges ridiculous fees to book online or on the phone. Your best bet is to walk into the box office where the helpful staff can assist you in choosing your seat and there’s no booking fee. 

Seeing an Oscar Wilde play is always a treat, but seeing one in Dublin is something special. During your trip take a look at the different theaters in town to see who currently has a production by an Irish playwright. You will leave with a deeper understanding about the Irish culture both past and present.

Photo Credit: SXC

Tags: literature, theater


  • Christina says:

    I am breathlessly jealous that you were in the same room as Stockard Channing, even more so while she became someone else. She is my all-time favorite. And Oscar Wilde has had a special place in my heart since high school English class – his Ballad of Reading Jail is one of my favorite poems. Wonderful piece!

  • Love it. There couldn’t be a better setting for Oscar Wilde!

  • Thanks for the comments — It was a great night at the theater. Maybe the play will be touring? I imagine many people would be interested in seeing Stockard Channing in this role!

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