Main House Gwen Taylor, Susan Penhaligon and Kerry Ellis

The Importance of Being Earnest

  • 27 February - 3 March

Event Information

Tuesday & Wednesday 7.30pm
Thursday - Saturday 8pm
Matinees Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday 2.30pm

Lunch & Listen - prior to Wednesday matinee, with Gwen Taylor and Susan Penhaligon

Running Time:
Approx. 2h30m including two intervals


We do not cancel performances due to bad weather. Where safe to do so we suggest ticket holders make every effort to attend the performance for which they hold tickets. Should this prove impossible, please call the Box Office before the performance and we will do our utmost to arrange tickets for an alternative performance of the same production, or The Winslow Boy. We cannot guarantee that seating will be available, and please note we are unable to give refunds due to bad weather.

The Importance of Being Earnest by the master of comedy Oscar Wilde, makes a welcome return to Bath in this wonderfully witty, deliciously decadent and classic revival.

“A complete and perfectly judged piece of theatre” Bath & Wiltshire Parent

“This play is just so charming…  I could happily go and see it again” Wiltshire Times

Jack wishes to marry Algernon’s cousin, the beautiful Gwendolen, but first must convince her mother, the fearsome Lady Bracknell, of his respectability. For Jack, however, this is not as easy as it sounds, having started life abandoned in a handbag at Victoria station. Prepare to take a turn with Wilde’s much-loved Algernon, Jack, Gwendolen and Cecily, as town and country clash in a brilliant and wildly funny story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags.

Starring national treasure Gwen Taylor (Coronation StreetDuty Free and Barbara) as the formidable Lady Bracknell, Downton Abbey favourite Thomas Howes as Algernon, Broadway and West End star Kerry Ellis sharing the role of Gwendolen with Hannah Louise Howell* and the delightful Susan Penhaligon (Upstairs Downstairs and Bergerac) as the hapless Miss Prism.

* Please note, the role of Gwendolen will be played by Hannah Louise Howell on Friday and Saturday.

Photo credit: Jay Brooks

Tues– Fri evenings and Sat matinee: £21 / £26 / £28 / £31.50 / £33.50

Sat evening: £23.50 / £27.50 / £29.50 / £32.50 / £35.50

Midweek matinees: £19.50 / £25 / £27 / £31 / £32

A booking fee of £1.25 per ticket applies.

Tuesday & Wednesday 7.30pm
Thursday – Saturday 8pm
Matinees Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday 2.30pm

Lunch & Listen – prior to Wednesday matinee, with Gwen Taylor and Susan Penhaligon

Lady Bracknell – Gwen Taylor

Algernon Moncrieff – Thomas Howes

Jack Worthing – Peter Sandys-Clark

Gwendolen Fairfax – Kerry Ellis (Hannah Louise Howell on Friday & Saturday)

Cecily Cardew – Louise Coulthard

Miss Prism – Susan Penhaligon

Chasuble – Geoff Aymer

Lane – Simon Shackleton


Directed by Alastair Whatley


Box Office is open from 10am – 8pm Monday – Saturday.

Doors open 30 minutes prior to the performance, unless otherwise stated.

All tickets for Main House productions include a £2 building levy.

There is a lift for wheelchair users from the Theatre foyer to the Stalls and Royal Circle levels. The Dress Circle and Grand Circle are stair access only.

Full booking terms & conditions can be found here