A PLAY dating back to the 1800s will be performed with a twist at a venue in Colchester.

Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest was first performed in 1895 at St James’ Theatre in London.

An interactive version of the show, titled The Importance of Being… Earnest? will now be performed at the Mercury Theatre from April 18 to April 20.

In this iteration, the production’s twist seemingly involves a huge disaster at the beginning, with the actor due to play Earnest failing to arrive on cue.

However, this is all part of the plan as a real audience member is then recruited in an effort to “save the show”.

This sets off a chain of events of other cast members being unable to continue their performances and more audience members encouraged to step into the spotlight.

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 directed by Simon Paris.

This show is not to be confused with another version of The Importance of Being Earnest which was staged at the Mercury Theatre earlier this year.