The Importance Of Being Earnest

The Importance Of Being Earnest Tickets

4.5/5 - based on 72 reviews
from 72 verified reviews
  • Opens: Wednesday, 20 November 2024
    Booking until: Saturday, 25 January 2025
Tickets from £65.99
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The Importance Of Being Earnest in London

The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy is Oscar Wilde’s final and best-loved farce. It debuted on Valentine’s Day in 1895 at St James's Theatre in London and more than 125 years later, it’s back in London at the National Theatre.

Why you should see The Importance of Being Earnest

  • The cast includes actor Ncuti Gatwa, known for his work on Netflix’s Sex Education and most recently became the 15th Doctor on Doctor Who.
  • A classic comedy that offers sharp wit, clever dialogue, and hilarious situations that still resonate today.
  • The play is popular with audiences and will be a huge hit during its run at the National Theatre.

A classic comedy with a star-studded 125 year history

Wilde’s classic comedy has been revived countless times since its premiere, transformed into three movies in 1952, 1992 and 2002 as well as on stage more or less constantly, a favourite with schools and amateur dramatics groups.

In 2007 it was produced at the Theatre Royal Bath before transferring to the West End. The 2011 Roundabout Theatre Company produced a Broadway revival based on the 2009 Stratford Shakespeare Festival production. A 2018 revival was directed by Michael Fentiman for the Vaudeville Theatre, and the list goes on. Now you can catch the latest stage version at the National Theatre.

What is The Importance of Being Earnest about?

The story? Jack thinks it’s incredibly boring to be sensible. He’s been given the role of dutiful guardian, stuck in the countryside, but when he escapes to London he adopts a false identity and runs wild. His friend Algy is up to the same sort of mischief. Sadly it’s difficult leading a double life, especially when love enters the mix. Keen to impress a couple of pretty ladies, the men become trapped in a hilarious web of lies.

The Importance of Being Earnest Cast and Creatives

This joyful, flamboyant play has been reimagined by director Max Webster (Donmar’s Macbeth, Life of Pi), starring the Olivier Award-winner Sharon D Clarke (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Doctor Who) as Lady Bracknell, Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who, Sex Education) as Algernon Moncreiff, and Hugh Skinner (W1A, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) as Jack Worthing. They’re joined by Richard Cant (Stan & Ollie, Mary Queen of Scots) as Reverend Canon Chasuble, and Amanda Lawrence (Star Wars: Episode – IX The Rise of Skywalker, Angels in America) as Miss Prism.

The show features set and costume design by Rae Smith, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Nicola T. Chang, composition by DJ Walde, movement direction by Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, and casting by Alastair Coomer CDG.

The beginning of the end for Oscar Wilde

When The Importance of Being Earnest debuted, Wilde was at the height of his success. But the play signalled the beginning of the end for the writer, who would soon appear in court for gross indecency and be sentenced to two years’ hard labour. Oscar Wilde would be thrilled to know his brilliant social comedy is still amusing people, as popular as ever, and that the famous saying, “A handbag?” has become so well known. The hypocrisy of Victorian society is as outrageous as ever, as is the wonderfully twisty-turny plot.

Heading to the National Theatre, The Importance of Being Earnest will be a hit with audiences of all ages when it arrives on the stage. Oscar Wilde's satire on Victorian society's hypocrisy and the importance of maintaining appearances offers both entertainment and insightful commentary on human nature. Book The Importance of Being Earnest today and see for yourself why this play is a timeless comedy classic.

The Importance Of Being Earnest Official Theatre Tickets

Our central reservation system connects you directly to the Lyttelton - National Theatre box office system. We provide live & full availability for The Importance Of Being Earnest tickets, from VIP and premium, to top price and discount tickets, helping you choose the perfect tickets for your budget. Pick your seats from our interactive seating plan and get your theatre tickets emailed to you instantly after your booking. Simply present your e-tickets at the door on the day and experience what London & the West End have best to offer: the magic of theatre. Buying tickets for The Importance Of Being Earnest has never been easier.

The Importance Of Being Earnest Ticket Information

  • Opens:

    Wednesday, 20 November 2024

  • Booking until:

    Saturday, 25 January 2025

  • Cancellations & Refunds

    Once booked, tickets to The Importance Of Being Earnest are usually non exchangeable and non refundable as per our terms & conditions. In practice, however, we will do our best to accommodate your request as long as we are notified at least 48 hours before the performance. Please contact us for more information.

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The Importance Of Being Earnest reviews

4.5 out of 5 based on 72 reviews

What to expect:

  • Recommended for:
  • Couples (93%)
  • Theatregoers (97%)
Latest customer reviews

All reviews are from customers who have been invited to leave a review just after seeing The Importance Of Being Earnest.

Please note the reviews below are from an old production of The Importance Of Being Earnest.



M Reviewed on 18 November 2015 by
Derry, United Kingdom


Outstanding saturday afternoon

S Reviewed on 11 November 2015 by
Bedford, United Kingdom


Loved every minute!

M Reviewed on 11 November 2015 by
Mesa, United States



M Reviewed on 09 November 2015 by
Exeter, United Kingdom


good quality show

Excellent acting

J Reviewed on 30 October 2015 by
Tr3 6hs, United Kingdom


Clever and Amusing

Great story, very clever and amusing, excellent acting by everyone. A really great night out. Jim Reeve

J Reviewed on 21 October 2015 by
London, United Kingdom



Nothing to write home about

G Reviewed on 20 October 2015 by
Oakworth, United Kingdom


Classic comedy

Entertaining and wonderful acting.

F Reviewed on 16 October 2015 by
Beccles, United Kingdom


Extremely hilarious

Excellent show, really enjoyed it, acting was extremely good, laughed out loud, so funny, would recommend it to anyone

K Reviewed on 05 October 2015 by
Waltham Cross, United Kingdom



C Reviewed on 03 October 2015 by
Church Stretton, United Kingdom


Couldn't attend due to illness, no cancellation policy, so wasted money

L Reviewed on 03 October 2015 by
Hinckley, United Kingdom


Best at being Ernest

We very much enjoyed the show. It was a very good production of a play I have seen many times before. All the actors & actresses were excellent. It has good sets. For anyone who likes this sort of theatre I recommend that you go and see it.

C Reviewed on 01 October 2015 by
Brentwood, United Kingdom


Colorful, educational for youngsters!

The world is blessed to have David Suchet! And the whole cast are just sooooo fabulous! My husband in Norway gave me a plane ticket to go to London to see the show! as a birthday present! Even though we have given everything we own away, he said it is a must before leaving the planet earth! Best evening ever! (next to loving each other.....) Best regards Karen

K Reviewed on 27 September 2015 by
Oslo, Norway


Need to see

L Reviewed on 26 September 2015 by
Rochester, United Kingdom



I am a great fan of this play and this was the first time I had seen it performed live. Loved David Suchet as Lady Bracknell and miss Prism was perfect. A lovely time at the vaudeville theatre

S Reviewed on 25 September 2015 by
East St Kilda, Australia


Great to see David as Lady Bracknell

We enjoyed the show but the actors were talking very fast. If I had not known the play I would have found it difficult to follow. Also Cecily's little girl voice was irritating. The scenery sets were fantastic

R Reviewed on 24 September 2015 by
Broadway Ilminster, United Kingdom


Amazing. Simply amazing.

A great show. A great cast. David Suchet was as god in a female role, as in every male roles he has played. No less admirations for the rest of the cast. Amazingly talented actors, passionately performing a classical text, bringing something new in Wild's play. If you want to feel good, to laugh from heart, to see something greatly and masterly made - I recomend that it is IMPORTANT to see The Importance of Being Earnest. Alexander Angelov

A Reviewed on 19 September 2015 by
Oslo, Norway


Applause Applause!

E Reviewed on 16 September 2015 by
Granbury, United Kingdom



Z Reviewed on 15 September 2015 by
Brighton, United Kingdom



F Reviewed on 13 September 2015 by
Guernsey, United Kingdom


Constant laughter

F Reviewed on 06 September 2015 by
Cowes, United Kingdom


Must See!

R Reviewed on 05 September 2015 by
Delafield, United States


An old favourite played to perfection

A Reviewed on 04 September 2015 by
San Francisco, United States



We loved this show, an absolute ensemble piece, but the standouts were Cicely and Algernon, brilliant to watch even when they weren't the focus of the scene, i'd recommend it to anyone who wants a laugh

S Reviewed on 03 September 2015 by
Pontypridd, United Kingdom


A hilarious must-see!

T Reviewed on 01 September 2015 by
London, United Kingdom


The Importance Of Being Suchet

Forget his wonderful TV performances, David Suchet's stage presence is gargantuan. Having seen him on stage before, I knew what to expect, but this was absolutely terrific. These period pieces are sometimes difficult to find the humour in, not so this adaptation, I didn't realise how funny this play is. The (in the main) young cast must revel in the chance to 'up their game' competing against an old 'pro' like Suchet. From the Robert Downey Jnr lookalike, Philip Cumbus to another veteran, Michelle Dotrice, the cast gelled very nicely together. A wonderful experience, especially as it was a birthday treat for my Wife and me. Many thanks to those who brought it into being and those who performed it.

P Reviewed on 24 August 2015 by
Gillingham, United Kingdom



E Reviewed on 23 August 2015 by
London, United Kingdom


Excellent - the humour is timeless

M Reviewed on 20 August 2015 by
Sissinghurst, United Kingdom


absolutely fantastic

E Reviewed on 09 August 2015 by
Derby, United Kingdom



David Suchet was excellent, supporting cast not so good

S Reviewed on 29 July 2015 by
Skipton, United Kingdom


Great acting!

The play is taken to another level of enjoyment when the actors are so superb. Suchet is of course brilliant, but the rest of the cast gave insightful and witty interpretations.

C Reviewed on 25 July 2015 by
Burton On Trent, United Kingdom


funny, witty, uplifting, fantastic play!!!

D Reviewed on 24 July 2015 by
Sentosa Island, Singapore


Great entertainment

The show was great fun to watch and the three set designs were quite impressive and really help to set the scene. The plot was very easy to follow and it was amusing watching the story unravel on stage

H Reviewed on 20 July 2015 by
Maidstone, United Kingdom


Genius writing deserves top class acting- and this is what you get. An absolute joy.

This is a theatrical triumph from beginning to end. From perfect set, to fabulous costumes, and superb acting, transforming an 1895 classic into a modern gem. I had a smile on my face from beginning to end, as did my 13 year old son.Do not miss the opportunity to remind yourself of the true brilliance of a talented author. Inspiring.

C Reviewed on 16 July 2015 by
London, United Kingdom


A+ acting and witty script

Two out of the four people in my party don't usually enjoy the theater, but all four of us enjoyed this show immensely. The witty script and comedic skills of the actors kept us all entertained up to the last minute. A fantastic choice for our London theater event.

K Reviewed on 08 July 2015 by
Redmond, United States


A must see

Super show & superb cast. Very funny. One of the best productions we have seen.

N Reviewed on 02 July 2015 by
Bedford, United Kingdom


Great show

This was a very good production headlined by David suchet who was excellent and along with a very good cast made for a thoroughly enjoying evening. I have never laughed so much as I did last night

A Reviewed on 26 June 2015 by


all we had hoped it would be!

We came half way around the world to see this show! Not entirely, but on discovering it was on at the same time that we were in London, I was keen to make the booking from Australia. Booking went without a hitch, and the experience of seeing on the stage faces and voices we normally only know via the screen was delightful. The placement of Oscar Wilde's wonderful play within a further storyline about an amateur dramatic society was done cleverly and only enhanced the experience. One word of advice to patrons of the Harold Pinter Theatre - brign a cushion! Backside was very sore by half time!

A Reviewed on 02 October 2014 by



This is a brilliant performance of an evergreen classic-first rate actors in a timeless piece.

A Reviewed on 21 September 2014 by


Great production

A great twist in an excellent story.

A Reviewed on 01 September 2014 by


Brilliant fun! Ignore the reviews and go anyway

Sme reviews were sniffy about the play within a play concept. It is true that the evening really takes off when Oscar Wild's play starts but the cast are great fun -particularly Martin Jarvis and Nigel Havers

A Reviewed on 28 August 2014 by


classical brilliance

The brilliance of the original dialogue shines through the performance. The modern "framing" adds another level of amusement and fun

A Reviewed on 28 August 2014 by


Good show

I was not expecting change in the text in comparison to the Oscar While's text but pass the surprise I appreciated it.

A Reviewed on 20 August 2014 by


A well loved classic

A Reviewed on 16 August 2014 by


Earnest Review

A new twist on a well known play

A Reviewed on 15 August 2014 by


different construct

Wilde fans need to be aware that this is a play within a play, so those looking for classic Wilde will be disappointed

A Reviewed on 14 August 2014 by


enjoyable to watch

A Reviewed on 06 August 2014 by



Well acted with a great way of presenting a very well known play

A Reviewed on 31 July 2014 by


good entertainment

great actors amusing story line

A Reviewed on 12 July 2014 by


good entertainment

great actors amusing story line

A Reviewed on 12 July 2014 by



A Reviewed on 10 July 2014 by


Best show I've seen in years

A Reviewed on 09 July 2014 by


Vinnie and Chris' View

It was a novel adaptation of a classic. But it retained all of the original witty dialogue.

A Reviewed on 08 July 2014 by


Doesn't work

DOn't know why they decided to tamper with the form of this show but it does not work. They have created a silly play within a play and added very un-Wildean slapstick. The play is not organic in the sense that say a Shakespeare is and so does not lend itself to what they have tried to do - very disappointing.

A Reviewed on 06 July 2014 by

01 May
Emmie Newitt

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by Emmie Newitt | Wednesday, May 1 2024, 08:23

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29 Apr
Emmie Newitt

Ncuti Gatwa to make National Theatre debut in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

by Emmie Newitt | Monday, April 29 2024, 08:09

A new production of Oscar Wilde's joyful and flamboyant comedy is heading to London later this year.

ncuti gatwa

Ncuti Gatwa to make National Theatre debut in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST