Actress Emma Amos discusses her role in A Woman of No Importance
The Oscar Wilde play starts its run at the Cambridge Arts Theatre tomorrow (Monday, October 7).
One of Oscar Wilde's lesser-known plays, A Woman of No Importance opened Classic Spring’s critically acclaimed Oscar Wilde season in the West End in 2017.
Funny and engaging, this enjoyable production explores innocence and morality through Wilde’s sparkling wit and masterful use of language.
An earnest young American woman, an unscrupulous English Lord and an innocent young man join in the festivities at a lavish estate in the English countryside.
Should a mother tell her son the truth and risk social ruin?
Directed by Dominic Dromgoole, the play stars Liza Goddard, Roy Hudd, Isla Blair, Emma Amos and Katy Stephens.
Emma Amos is probably best known as the second Yvonne (she took over the role from Michelle Holmes) in popular BBC time-travelling sitcom, Goodnight Sweetheart, which also starred Nicholas Lyndhurst and ran for six series from 1993 to 1999, coming back for an excellent one-off special in 2016.
Speaking to the Cambridge Independent from Edinburgh, Emma, 55, said: "It's set in a country house with people coming together, like they used to - they used to have these big country parties.
"Among all the fizz and bright speaking, there's the undertones of what's actually going on with these individuals - and my character's married but not happy.
"In one of the lines, she says, 'I was horribly deceived in earnest', and 'earnest' was apparently code for your husband being a homosexual in those days.
"So basically she's there to have a good time.
"She's very witty, very funny but there's the layer underneath of somebody whose ground is quite shaky because she doesn't really know where she is in the world - so it's quite an interesting character to play."
Emma, who portrays Mrs. Allonby, added: "Fundamentally, the play is full of very strong women, and that's what drew me to it initially."
The reception the play has received so far on the tour has been fantastic, notes the actress.
"People have loved it," said Emma, adding: "Roy Hudd does these front-curtain songs - musical numbers of the time - and they're going down a storm when the scene changes are happening. And I think people find the play very accessible and very relevant.
"It's one of the Oscar Wilde's that people don't really know so much; it's quite nice to introduce another play from his repertoire that isn't done as much as the others."
A Woman of No Importance starts tomorrow (Monday, October 7) and runs until Saturday (October 12).
The play starts at 7.45pm each night, with a 2.30pm matinee performance on the Thursday and the Saturday.
Box office: 01223 503333