KATHMANDU, March 18: Nepal-Britain Society’s drama group, New Shakespeare Wallahs, is all set to stage famous poet and writer Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” today at the Sterling Club of the British Embassy in Lainchaur, Kathmandu.
The director of the play, which is being performed by the Society for the third time in 20 years, is Greta Rana, most well-known from translating Diamond Shumsher’s “Seto Bagh” into English.
“’The Importance of Being Earnest’” is not only important in literature but also in the history of the United Kingdom,” said Rana at a press meet held at the Embassy on Tuesday, March 16. “The play is targeted at the snobbish Victorian social system, which was revolutionary for the time, and contains some of the wittiest lines by Oscar Wilde,” she informed.
The storyline of the play revolves around the protagonist with dual identities—the first as Jack in the countryside, and the second as Ernest Worthing in the city. Ernest is in love with Lady Bracknell’s daughter Gwendolen Fairfax. When Lady Bracknell finds out that Ernest (who is actually Jack) had been found abandoned as a baby in a leather handbag left at the Victoria Railway Station, she is appalled.
“It is about the push and pull between families where money decides everything in the end,” hinted Rana and concluded, “You have to come see the play to know what happens.”
The two and a half hour long drama consists of cast members from various walks of life, from doctors to teachers, who have volunteered their time to put up the show. Dr. Sameer Dixit plays Jack/Ernest. Clare Brittain, a Grade X student from The British School, is the youngest cast member.
Mr. B. S. Rana plays Lady Bracknell. Wearing a red blouse and skirt and a netted hat, he laughed heartily, “When I was trying on the clothes at the boutique, I was repeatedly emphasizing that it was for a play.” Watching him carry out the role of a snobby upper-class woman is probably one of the treats of this rendition of “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
The play is being performed at the Sterling Club, British Embassy, Lainchaur on March 18 and 19 at 6 pm; and on March 21 at 2:30 pm. Entry Fee: Rs 1,500 (includes drinks & dinner). Tickets are available at the British Embassy, Shaligram Apt Hotel, and Nepal Britain Society.