Game, Set and Match
A winning Earnest at Arts Club
by Jay Catterson
The classic Oscar Wilde satirical farce The Importance of Being Earnest, now playing at the Arts Club Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, is an absolute treat to behold. The direction by David Mackay is tight, and the ensemble is impeccably cast, delivering the notoriously wordy script with ease and gusto. Cast standouts include the dynamic duo of Charlie Gallant as Algernon Moncrieff and Ryan Beil as Jack Worthing, playing off each other's bravado and conviction to woo their respective love interests as the shared alter-ego "Earnest". But who really steals the show is Allan Zynik, whose turn as the highly cynical and demanding Lady Bracknell leaves the audience in stitches.
Another notable highlight of this production is the whimsical set design by Amir Ofek, which evokes the essence of the period with exaggeratedly oversized objects from 1890s England; a large hand mirror and top hat in Act One, large garden flowers and butterflies in Act Two, and oversized trunks and suitcases in Act Three. Overall, this solid production by Arts Club Vancouver treats the source material with the respect that it deserves and delivers successfully on all levels. This is one live production of Earnest that should not be missed.