Oscar Wilde had a large catalogue of literary works to his name, but when it comes to his theatrical accomplishments most remember The Importance of Being Earnest. It’s certainly the play most often performed at any other festival. But the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-lake has held a close relationship with Wilde’s plays for some time now, and often adapts all four of his major social comedies regularly.
Only 2nd Appearance at Shaw
It’s safe to say that A Woman of No Importance is often one of Wilde’s more overlooked plays. First performed in 1893, it was a success at the time although in later decades would get quickly overshadowed by 1895’s Earnest. Even in the Shaw Festival it’s only been performed once before in 2000, to commemorate the centenary of Wilde’s death.
Dramatic Comedy Theme
The play follows the theme of Wilde’s other dramatic comedies by shining a spotlight on the affluent and morally flexible world of Victorian English high society. Its examination of family secrets, upper-class dalliances and the melodrama of the rich is a field covered in just about all of Wilde’s work to some degree – the point of difference in A Woman of No Importance is a more sentimental touch, an emotional melodrama to balance out the famous wit and cutting retorts of his characters.
Impressive Production Team
The 2016 production is directed by Texas-born Eda Holmes, Associate Director of the Shaw Festival. In recent years she has built up a formidable list of directing credits in Canadian theatre. Original music composed especially for this production is the product of multi award winning musician and composer John Gzowski, who has worked on over 200 various stage productions in his career.
A Woman of No Importance is one of the flagship plays of the 2016 festival, running from May until October in the Festival Theatre. For anyone wanting an adult melodrama with sharp writing, Oscar Wilde’s body of work has always been a safe port of call, and any Wilde play has always found a comfortable home in the Shaw Festival line-up.
While enjoying the Shaw Festival, stay at the closest hotel to Niagara Falls, the Marriott on the Falls Hotel. View our: Niagara Falls Hotel Packages