The Importance of Being Earnest was one of the plays shared as a web broadcast during the Covid lockdown, and is made available as a replay.
Where Algemon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing both admit to inventing imaginary brothers (Ernest & Bunbury) who they use as excuses to avoid their obligations. Gwendolen and the formidable Lady Bracknell are introduced, the latter disapproving of Jack’s adopted origins.
In Jack’s country estate, Cecily and her governess Miss Prism, are surprised by the appearance of “Ernest” (Algemon) and welcome him as the ‘lost sheep’ of the family. Jack returns, announcing Earnest’s death, and Gwendolen joins having run away from home to also marry Ernest.
Lady Bracknell arrives and discovers both couples are engaged but objects to the weddings to go ahead. The impasse is broken by Miss Prism who reveals the true origins of Jack’s parentage. On Gwendolin’s insistence that she will only be married to an Ernest everything rests on discovering Jack’s real name. A task Lady Bracknell claims makes him display signs of triviality.
“On the contrary, Aunt Augusta: I’ve now realised for the first time in my life the vital importance of being Earnest”