Lucy Bailey will direct Nigel Havers and Siân Phillips in a revival of The Importance Of Being Earnest at the Harold Pinter Theatre this summer.
Oscar Wilde’s comedy about two bachelors and their hilarious misadventures will play at the venue from 27 June (press night 17 July) to 20 September prior to a national tour.
Olivier Award nominated actress Phillips was most recently seen on the West End stage in Rufus Norris’ production of Cabaret at the Savoy Theatre, a performance that earned her the prestigious nomination. Havers, who is best known for his screen roles in series including Downton Abbey and Coronation Street, has previously appeared on the London stage in West End productions of See You Next Tuesday and Art.
The duo are joined in the cast by Outnumbered’s Rosalind Ayres (Now You Know, Hampstead Theatre), Niall Buggy (Guys And Dolls, West End), Martin Jarvis (Honour, Wyndham’s Theatre), Christine Kavanagh (Albert Speer, National Theatre) and television regular Cherie Lunghi.
Elegantly lampooning the hypocrisies of Victorian society, Wilde’s much-loved play charts the story of John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff as they create new identities for themselves in an attempt to woo eligible ladies Cecily Cardew and Gwendolyn Fairfax.
Directed by Bailey, whose productions include Shakespeare’s Globe’s returning hit Titus Andronicus, The Importance Of Being Earnest will open at the Harold Pinter Theatre following Relative Values. Trevor Nunn’s current production of Noël Coward’s comedy stars Patricia Hodge, Caroline Quentin and Rory Bremner, and will play until 21 June.