A THEATRE performance which makes the audience the stars of the show is coming to a Colchester theatre for the very first time. 

'The Importance of Being… Earnest?' is a critically acclaimed show coming to the Mercury Theatre as part of its first UK tour.

Written by Oscar Wilde, the comedic play satirizes the manners and conventions of Victorian society and will be performed from April 18 to 20.

However, this retelling has a dramatic twist where real audience members have the option to take part in the show by taking on roles and acting.

Simon Paris, the show's creative director, said: "All of the audience participation in '...Earnest?' is completely voluntary.

"The show is equally fun to get up on stage, as it is to watch others volunteer and join the fun.

"There's always something unique, weird and wonderful about every show we do, but sometimes we do get someone who really goes out on a limb.

"We've had random mass singalongs to Queen and audience members spontaneously kiss mid-scene."

In this twist on a much-loved classic, the show opens with the actor playing Ernest in the famous Oscar Wilde farce failing to arrive on time.

In an effort to save the show, a real audience member is then cast into the lead role. 

Throughout the show, the rest of the cast drop out one by one and are all replaced with audience members.

Simon added: "Audience members generally read what’s on the script - if they have any script at all. And if not, the cast is incredibly gifted at accepting and embracing the wonderful curveballs that the audience members often throw at them.

"We don’t particularly have an exact show we are trying to recreate every night, rather, we offer audience members opportunities to shine and when they do, it feels like real magic is created.

The show will run for approximately two hours and 20 minutes, including an interval.

Ticket prices range between £22 and £27.

For more information and to purchase tickets go to mercurytheatre.co.uk/event/the-importance-of-being-earnest.