The Importance of Being Earnest

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Dominic Dromgoole revives The Importance of Being Earnest as part of the year-long celebratory season of one of the world’s greatest playwrights, Oscar Wilde. With productions in the run including well-known classics and rarely performed works, the season rounds off with The Importance of Being Earnest, which sees the infamous Lady Bracknell keeping a watchful eye on a mayhem of manners.
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Booking until 20 October 2018

James Acaster

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Comedian and seasoned stand-up performer James Acaster sets his sights on the West End with a world premiere of his new show Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999. A hilarious and reflective look at the best and worst year of his life, this is a great opportunity to see one of comedy’s rising stars, playing a week-long run at the Vaudeville Theatre.

True West

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Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn star in Sam Shepard’s searing psychological thriller True West, playing for a strictly limited season at London’s Vaudeville Theatre. Directed by Matthew Dunster, True West is the blistering play that sees two brothers reunited, and the inevitable power play that ensues. Set against the high heat of the Californian desert, this production examines the fragility of the American Dream.
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Booking from 23 November 2018 until 16 February 2019

Box Office Contacts

Box Office:0330 333 4814
Access Booking:0330 333 4815
Group Booking:0330 333 4817
Stage Door:020 7632 9510

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History

Designed by theatre architect CJ Phipps, the Vaudeville Theatre first opened in 1870 with comedy For Love and Money and burlesque act Don Carlos or the Infante in Arms. The theatre’s opening year also saw Henry Irving achieve commercial success in James Albery’s Two Roses, which ran at the venue for 300 performances.

Subsequent successful productions included comedy Our Boys (1875), which ran for 500 shows. In 1889, Thomas Thorne demolished the houses behind the venue in order to expand the building. It reopened in 1891 with Woodbarrow Farm, followed by a revival of Our Boys (1892), The French Maid (1898) and Bluebell in Fairyland (1901).

The 20th century saw comedies and musicals performed including J.M. Barrie’s Quality Street (1902), The Cherry Girl (1903), The Catch of the Season (1904), The Belle of Mayfair (1906), The Girl in the Train (1910) and Baby Mine (1911). Throughout the First World War, a variety of musical revues and light entertainment took place, before the building closed in 1925.

The Vaudeville reopened in 1926 after refurbishment, with a revue show called R.S.V.P., followed by The Bread-Winner (1930). Record-breaking musical Salad Days transferred to the venue in the late 1950’s, conceded by Chips with Everything (1959).

Later productions included The Bride Comes Back (1960), Shout for Life (1963), Arsenic and Old Lace (1966), Ray Cooney’s Move Over Mrs Markham (1971), Out on a Limb (1976), Noel Coward’s Present Laughter (1981) and Blithe Spirit (1986), Shirley Valentine (1988) and Kander and Ebb’s musical 70, Girls, 70 (1991).

A successful revival of Salad Days played at the venue in 1996, followed by Macaulay Culkin in Madame Melville (2000), Ray Cooney’s Caught in the Net (2001) and Stomp (2002-2007), which later transferred to the Ambassadors Theatre. Subsequent shows included Swimming with Sharks (2007-2008), The Importance of Being Earnest (2008), starring Penelope Keith and The Deep Blue Sea (2008).

By this time, the theatre had become renowned for a quick turnover of plays and comedies, with notable productions including The Female of the Species (2008), Piaf (2008-2009), Woman in Mind (2009), starring Janie Dee, Duet for One (2009), starring Juliet Stevenson, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (2009-2010) and many short-running stints from comedians and entertainers.

2010 saw a variety of productions, including Private Lives, starring Kim Cattrall, The Prisoner of Second Avenue and An Ideal Husband, starring Samantha Bond. 2011 featured In a Forest, Dark and Deep, Broken Glass, starring Anthony Sher, Swallows and Amazons and Master Class (2012).

Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw (2012) played, starring Omid Djalili, followed by Anna Friel in Uncle Vanya (2012), Great Expectations (2013), The Ladykillers (2013), The Duck House (2013-2014), starring Ben Miller, Handbagged (2014), Forbidden Broadway (2014), The Wind in the Willows (2014-2015), Di and Viv and Rose (2015), starring Tamzin Outhwaite, Samantha Spiro and Jenna Russell and Oppenheimer (2015).

David Suchet famously appeared in The Importance of Being Earnest in 2015, with Dawn French’s popular autobiographical comedy 30 Million Minutes following. Bill Bailey then performed his tour Limbo Land (2015-2016), which was conceded by Broadway comedy Hand to God (2016), starring Janie Dee and Harry Melling. 2016 also saw a lukewarm revival of Hobson’s Choice, starring Martin Shaw, David Baddiel’s hit comedy My Family: Not the Sitcom and Dead Funny, with Steve Pemberton and Katherine Parkinson.

2017 saw a short stint from comedy Boys in the Band, starring Mark Gatiss, and a revival of comedy Stepping Out, starring Amanda Holden and Tracy-Ann Oberman. Further productions include an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's beloved poem The Hunting of the Snark as well as transfer of The Mentor from the Theatre Royal Bath, starring F. Murray Abraham.

The end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 sees Dominic Dromgoole embark on a year-long residency, presenting some of Oscar Wilde's greatest plays, including A Woman of No Importance, starring Eve Best, and Lady Windermere's Fan, starring Samantha Spiro and Jennifer Saunders. Tall Stories also brought their adaptation of Wilde Creatures to the Vaudeville Theatre.

The Oscar Wilde season continues into 2018, featuring productions of The Selfish Giant, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest. After two short stints from comedians James Acaster and Mo Gilligan, the year rounds off with thriller True West, starring Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn.

Past Shows

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An Ideal Husband
(closed 14 Jul 2018)
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The Selfish Giant
(closed 14 Apr 2018)
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Lady Windermere's Fan
(closed 7 Apr 2018)

 
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Wilde Creatures
(closed 31 Dec 2017)
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A Woman of No Importance
(closed 30 Dec 2017)
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The Hunting of the Snark
(closed 26 Aug 2017)

 
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The Mentor
(closed 26 Aug 2017)
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Stepping Out
(closed 17 Jun 2017)
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The Boys in the Band
(closed 18 Feb 2017)

 
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Dead Funny
(closed 4 Feb 2017)
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Dawn French: 30 Million Minutes
(closed 22 Oct 2016)