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The Importance Of Being Frank
Published on Thursday, 30 June 2011


Arts Centre - Studio
12, 14, 16 Jul, 8:15pm-9:15pm; 13, 15 Jul, 7:00pm-8:00pm


A time-traveller, fleeing a future apocalypse, charts a course for Victorian London – but lands slap-bang in the middle of Oscar Wilde’s most famous play.  She finds a world filled with drawing rooms, cucumber sandwiches and (of course) that famous handbag; we trust she’ll find smatterings of Wildean wit too.  And we hope we’ll all get to enjoy another clever, multi-layered script, from the pen of Buxton’s own Tom Crawshaw.

We don’t know a huge amount about this brand-new play, but we do know all about producers Three’s Company.  We’ve enjoyed their work over the last few years, in Edinburgh, London and here in Buxton; all three of the regular cast have consistently impressed, and they’ve the subtlety and inner depth lacked by many of their (comparative) youth.  They also have a particular interest for interactive theatre, so it’s fairly safe to predict that – if the future world is going to be saved – we, the modern-day audience, will have to get involved.

Crawshaw has an equal penchant for theatrical chicanery, and this curious blend of science fiction and a classic script sounds a perfect match for his unashamedly intelligent style.  It’s slightly reminiscent of Auditorium, a parallel-universe portal-fest which earned five stars from us back in 2008.  We expect you’ll have to stay on your toes to follow it all, and it remains to be seen how well such high-concept shenanigans will really gel with Oscar Wilde.  But of one thing we’re sure… there’ll be plenty of intellectual meat among those cucumber sandwiches.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Buxton 2011.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.