Role and Production details

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The Importance of Being Earnest
Auditions at South Hill Park

Considered to be one of the finest plays ever written, The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde’s defining masterpiece.

First performed in 1895 at the height of his fame and popularity, the scandal that followed his arrest just weeks after it opened in Victorian London shuttered the original West End production. Yet it served only to add fuel to the legend of this play, a legend where truth and fiction blur.

South Hill Park is looking for community actors to take part in The Importance of Being Earnest which is being directed by Alastair Whatley.

Alastair is an incredibly talented and passionate director, and South Hill Park is delighted to welcome him back. Alastair began his directing career at South Hill Park, and directing many Shakespeare productions, including Henry V in 2007. Since then, Alastair has successfully developed his own professional theatre company, Original Theatre, which have produced exceptional work including Flare Path, Invincible, Three Men in a Boat, Journey’s End, Vincent in Brixton, and the West-End hit Birdsong. He most recently directed the award winning revival of Shadowlands.
Alastair will join our very successful and ever popular in-house design team Victoria Spearing, Anne Thomson and Alan Valentine.

This is a play taking place in the Wilde Theatre in May 2017. The performances run from Wednesday 17th May – Sunday 21st May.
Weekday evenings from 6.30pm-10pm from 24th April
Weekends from 10am-6pm from the 29th April
Production Week:
Monday 15th May 7pm-10pm – TECH
Tuesday 16th May 10am-6pm – TECH + 7pm-10pm DRESS

We are asking candidates to video themselves reading a duologue from the play, lasting around 5 minutes. Please send these to Joe Malyan (Production Manager) at

These videos will be forwarded on to Alastair (who is currently touring the UK with his own professional production of Invincible). Successful candidates will then be given an allocated time to perform a Skype audition with Alastair.

Any questions, please contact Joe.

Start date:
Finish date:

John (Jack)

Role Description

Character description:

late 20’s to middle to late 30’s

Jack Worthing has an interesting history and a substantial fortune. Yet leads a double life building up debts (which he can well afford to pay) in London where he goes by the name of Earnest and woos Algernon’s cousin Gwendolen. Whom he adores. And who adores him…as long as he is Earnestly Earnest as Earnest.
Jack on the one hand is a solid, upright member of the British Establishment but beneath the veneer lies an orphan, a man who feels more at home pretending to be someone else than he is playing the role of Mr Worthing. He is a man of masks and faces and deep inner turmoil.
An actor who can be still, think quickly, sharply and indulge in high minded romance would be splendid. A little more earnest but never too serious.

Required Physical Characteristics
Playing age:
25 to 40
13 March 2017
Closing date:
15 April 2017
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