The importance of being earnest


Jack Worthing is living a double life.

To escape his dull country existence, he has invented a younger brother called Ernest, whose scandalous behaviour requires Jack to regularly travel to London. Once in the city, Jack becomes Ernest. He is head over heels in love with Gwendolyn Fairfax, the daughter of the formidable Lady Bracknell. When his best friend Algernon discovers that Jack has a secret identity and a beautiful niece called Cecily, he heads down to the country posing as the delinquent brother Ernest.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest comedies ever written, The Importance of Being Earnest zings with contemporary relevance, subversively satirising the snobbery and hypocrisy of extreme wealth and excess.

Oscar Wilde’s dazzling play gets a stylish makeover from our creative director Ryan McBryde, who last had us in stitches with the madcap farces They Don’t Pay? We Don’t Pay! and The Comedy Of Errors.

Sparkling with razor sharp quips and lush period design, this gold-standard comedy guarantees a Wilde night out!

Director Ryan McBryde
Designer Katie Lias



There will be an Audio Described performance on Sat 9 Mar, 2.30pm.
There will be a Captioned performance on Sun 10 Mar, 3pm.

Post-show Q&A

Following the 2.30pm performance on Thu 7 Mar there will be a Q&A with the cast & creatives.

Book Tickets

Book Tickets Online

Map & Directions


The Importance of Being Earnest


Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1PT

Tel: 01206573948

Opening Times

Season (1 Mar 2024 - 16 Mar 2024)


The Mercury Theatre, with Jumbo Water Tower in the backgroundMercury Theatre, ColchesterA highly respected regional theatre, home to the critically acclaimed Mercury Theatre Company, staging a broad mix of classic plays and new writing as well as working extensively within the local community.