The Official Tourism Website for Herefordshire

The Importance of Being Earnest 1024x600 NEW

The Importance of Being Earnest?

Hit interactive twist on this classic comedy to visit The Courtyard.

After a phenomenally critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe run in 2022, and previous London Fringe theatre success, the hugely popular The Importance of Being… Earnest? is embarking on a UK tour, and will play The Courtyard, Hereford on Thursday, 22 February – Saturday, 24 February 2024.

In this riotous twist on a much-loved classic, the show opens to looming disaster; the actor playing Earnest in Oscar Wilde’s famed farce fails to arrive on cue. In a monumental effort to ‘save the show’, a real audience member is quickly cast in the lead role.

But this impetuous recasting sets off a hilarious chain of events that, one-by-one, renders the rest of the cast unable to continue their performances.

As more audience members are encouraged to step into the spotlight, led backstage for costume and make-up, impromptu auditions, the painting of portraits, the chanting of mantras; doing whatever’s needed to help the show go on, an absurd controlled madness ensues – until it feels as if there are almost as many audience members in the cast as there are in the … audience.

This is a comedic masterpiece of meticulous logistics, meritoriously involved audiences, masterful stage management and celebrity cameos. The Importance of Being… Earnest? Is an exciting and hilarious experience both to watch and be part of as the innovative format creates an unexpected new experience every night. It’s a show for anyone who has enjoyed the high-jinx of The Play That Goes Wrong, Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare and Austentatious.

Developed alongside the company’s flagship open-rehearsal initiative, where audiences are invited into the rehearsal room to participate in the creative process, the show is written by Josh King, Simon Paris and Say It Again, Sorry?, and is directed by Simon Paris.

Praise for the show:

“a lot of fun, both in how it uses its audience members and how it gives its own actors characters, arcs and jokes to play with throughout the show” ★★★★ North West End UK

“Downright entertaining. Slapstick comedy, misplaced props and scripts, and an intentional lack of cohesion among the cast and crew will have you chuckling every time” ★★★★ Broadway Baby

“A masterclass in comedic theatre” ★★★★★ North West End UK (London 2021)

“An entirely unique, unpredictable and hilarious form of audience participation” ★★★★★ Ask the Ushers (London 2021)

The Importance of Being Earnest? will be held in The Courtyard Main House between Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 February 7pm, Saturday Matinee 2.30pm. To book tickets, or for more information contact the Box Office on 01432 340555 or visit

22Feb 24This event has passed

Fees & Tickets

Tickets from £20

Event Location

The Courtyard Centre for the Arts Edgar Street Hereford HR4 9JR

Organiser: The Courtyard

Location Map