Full cast announced for the 2018 UK tour of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of being Ernest" Hannah Louise Howell and Downton’s Thomas Howes join all-star cast.
4th December 2017
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She will be joined by Geoff Aymer, Louise Coulthard, Thomas Howes, Peter Sandys-Clarke and Simon Shackleton, playing Chasuble, Cecily, Algernon, Jack and Lane/Merriman respectively. They join the previously announced Gwen Taylor as Lady Bracknell and Susan Penhaligon as Miss Prism.

Hannah Louise Howell’s theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Alastair Whatley earlier this year at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Engineers Blue (Brass Works Theatre, Bristol), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Ludlow Assembly Rooms), Mermaid (Swan Theatre, Worcester), Much Ado About Nothing (The Regal, Tenbury Wells) and Ghosts (Courtyard Theatre).  

Geoff Aymer most recently appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Young Vic. His other theatre credits include To Kill A Mockingbird (Regents Park Open Air, National Tour, Barbican), The Lightning Childand MacBeth (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Driving Miss Daisy (The Canal Cafe and Frinton Summer Theatre). Geoff’s Television credits include Guerilla (Sky Atlantic and Showtime) and Eastenders (BBC 1). 

Louise Coulthard won the Lustrum Award at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe for her play, Cockamamy. Her theatre credits include House and Garden (The Watermill Theatre), The Late Wedding (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and Dreams of Home (Theatre Royal Stratford East). 

Thomas Howes is best known for playing William Mason in ITV’s Downton Abbey. He has since appeared as Yashvin in the 2012 film adaptation of Anna Karenina and played Winston Churchill in Murdoch Mysteries (ITV). His theatre credits include Ratty in The Wind in the Willows: The Musical (UK Tour), The Mousetrap (Original UK Tour), The Winslow Boy (Theatre Royal Bath) and The History Boys (National Theatre/West End). 

Peter Sandys-Clarke’s theatre credits include Ronald Storrs in Ross (Chichester Festival Theatre), Peter Gilbert in The Browning Version (Theatre Royal Bath and tour), Gerald in When We Are Married (Garrick Theatre), Jerry in A Daughter’s a Daughter (Trafalgar Studios), Withers in The Letter (Wyndham’s Theatre and tour) and Raleigh in Journey’s End (Playhouse Theatre and Duke of York’s Theatre). His TV work includes The Royals (E!), The Crown (Netflix) and Indian Summers (Channel 4). 

Simon Shackleton most recently played Professor Christopher Riley in the UK tour of Shadowlands, directed by Alastair Whatley. His other theatre credits include Journey's End (West End and UK tour), An Ideal Husband (Northampton Repertory Theatre), As You Like It (Bridewell Theatre), Blithe Spirit (Chichester Festival Theatre). Simon has appeared in EastEnders (BBC), Silk (BBC), The Queen (Blast Films), Lewis(ITV) and Torchwood (BBC). 

Oscar Wilde’s greatly admired and much loved comedy THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST follows Jack Worthing’s endeavours to marry Algernon’s cousin, the beautiful Gwendolen. But first he must convince the fearsome Lady Bracknell of his respectability. Wilde’s classic play looks at the clash of town and country in a story of romance, identity, perambulators and capacious handbags.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST will be directed by The Original Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Alastair Whatley, with set and costume designs by Gabriella Slade, sound and music by Giles Thomas and lighting by Alan Valentine. The UK tour is produced by Tom Hackney for The Original Theatre Company.

The production arrives at the Lichfield Garrick from Tuesday 27 March until Saturday 31 March 2018 with a variety of evening and matinee performances. Tickets start from £23.50 and are available from the Box Office on 01543 412121 or

Photo credits:

Cast by Jay Brooks

Gwen Taylor by Manuel Harlan

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Louie C

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