Coast Arts

January @ Coast Arts

Lady Bracknell’s Confinement

A Wilde Comedy Monologue by PAUL DOUST

Lady Bracknell reflects on an extraordinary sequence of events following on from The Importance of Being Earnest

2 days only: 26 January 2017 and 28 January 2017 at 7.30pm.

Venue: Cromer Community Centre, Garden Street, Cromer


Lady Bracknell’s Confinement – A Play

The first straight play to be performed for many years in Cromer takes to the stage this January.  The play:  Lady Bracknell’s Confinement is by playwright Paul Doust who is a regular writer for TV dramas including Eastenders and Holby City.

The play is the first production by the new local drama group Chalk Reef Amateur Productions.  It is a monologue in one act, along the lines of the Alan Bennett Talking Heads plays.  Lady Bracknell’s Confinement stars Northrepps resident, John Church in the title role.

The play traces the story of Lady Bracknell, one of the greatest comedy creations in the English Theatre.  As the curtain rises we hear off stage, the final moments of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, when Jack Worthing discovers every obstacle has been removed from marriage to his beloved Gwendolen. Or so he believes.  Lady Bracknell enters in a fluster and we then discover why.

Doust’s comedy has been written for a man to play Lady Bracknell, thus further emphasising the ‘pantomime dame’ elements of the character’s snobbery and obsession with social standing.  The fabulous period costume, which Lady Bracknell wears, has been supplied by Sheringham Community Wardrobe.

Director Gregory Hayman says:  “The play will provide an hilarious evenings entertainment for lovers of Wilde’s original play and those who are new to it.”

The play will be performed for two nights only, on Thursday 26th And Saturday 28th January at 7.30pm, at the Cromer Community Centre, Garden Street, Cromer.

Oscar Wilde and Cromer

Oscar & Bosie in Cromer

Oscar & Bosie in Cromer

One can be forgiven for forgetting or indeed for not realising what a fashionable resort Cromer was in the latter half of the nineteenth century.  The glitterati of the time all came here for their holidays,  so it should come as no surprise to discover that Oscar Wilde, the preeminent playwright of the period, should also have graced Cromer with his presence.

125 years ago, Wilde holidayed here in the August and September of 1892, renting a farmhouse on the Felbrigg estate, and then apparently, staying at the Hotel de Paris.  Whilst in Cromer it is possible to surmise that he got the name for the character of Lady Hunstanton, for his play A Woman of no Importance.  Wilde had used the holiday as an opportunity to finish the play, which he did.

Whilst in Cromer, Wilde was visited by his companion and lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, also known as Bosie.  They were photographed together in Cromer in one of the more relaxed photographs of the pair.  Douglas didn’t have such a good trip though and fell ill here.  Wilde’s wife wrote they she was sorry to learn that Douglas was sick and that she would happily break off from her own holiday in Devon to come and assist with looking after him.  This proved unnecessary and the good air seems to have restored Bosie to full health, although the threat of the arrival of his lovers wife may have assisted his revival.

Coast Arts 2016 in pictures