THE cast has been unveiled for the Mercury Theatre's upcoming play, the Oscar Wilde classic The Importance of Being Earnest.

Ryan McBryde, director, said the well-known tale will be given “a stylish makeover” with designer Katie Lias, in particular, helping dispel the myth that "Earnest is a fusty, dusty Victorian period piece”.​

He further praised Mr Wilde for creating a timeless "mirth-inducing masterpiece" and added: "Though it is, without doubt, one of the funniest plays in the English language, Earnest often gets branded as a frivolous farce.

"But when you scratch away the surface the play is actually a scathing and subversive attack on the official order of English society, ridiculing our values and beliefs, demolishing the late nineteenth century’s social and moral attitudes."

Gazette: Funny - (Left to Right) Mateo Oxley and Richard David-CaineFunny - (Left to Right) Mateo Oxley and Richard David-Caine (Image: Pamela Raith)

Gillian Bevan, known for playing Gina Hope in BBC’s Holby City, Claire Hunter in Channel 4’s Teachers, and Theresa May in Channel 4’s The Windsors, will play the Role of Mrs Bracknell.

Richard David-Caine and Harrie Hayes, meanwhile, who joined CBBC’s Horrible Histories in 2016 and 2019 respectively, will portray Jack Worthing and Gwendolen Fairfax. 

Elizabeth Bower, known for playing Dr Melody Bell in the BBC’s soap opera Doctors, will portray Miss Prism.

Gazette: Proper - Gillian Bevan playing the prim and proper Mrs BracknellProper - Gillian Bevan playing the prim and proper Mrs Bracknell (Image: Pamela Raith)


While Susannah Van Den Berg will portray Lane and Merriman, Mateo Oxley will be Algernon Moncrieff, Claire Lee Shenfield’s character will play Cecily Cardew and Martin Miller's character will be the Rev Canon Chasuble.

The play will run from March 1 to March 16 and tickets can be purchased at