Rehearsal photo; Credit: NWTC

The Luxembourg-based New World Theatre Club (NWTC) is putting on performances of Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest at the Centre Culturel Hollerich this week.

Performances are scheduled to take place on Thursday 13, Friday 14 and Saturday 15 June at 19:30 and on Sunday 16 June 2024 at 15:00.

NWTC first staged The Importance of Being Earnest back in 1968. The play was the English-language theatre club's second production of the year during which it was informally created by a group of passionate thespians. Since then, NWTC has produced over 150 shows.

As the club noted, the play is laden with humorous and meaningful quotes reflecting poignant observations on society, the class divide and human relationships - many of which remain relevant in today's society. had the opportunity to speak with Director Arron Lemon about the upcoming show. NWTC first performed The Importance of Being Earnest in 1968 - making it one of NWTC's earliest productions. Please tell us about the decision to revisit this play and any changes/additions this time round.

Arron Lemon: I wasn't aware of the history of the piece within the company when I proposed directing it, but it has always been one of my favourite shows. Farce has changed its form and function so significantly in time and the social commentaries within the play made it appealing to me as a director given the multicultural nature of Luxembourg. We have a cast who are from so many different backgrounds and generations, so we have been able to infuse views of the world from different perspectives to inform the content. NWTC previously announced that auditions were being held in February 2024. What was the casting process like? What sort of qualities were you looking for among potential cast members?

Arron Lemon: The casting process was fun for the same reasons it was difficult. We had so many excellent actors, which made the workshops really enjoyable, but this also meant saying no to some suitable and talented actors. I wanted a sense of play in the four protagonists, who could create the characters in their own image to some extent. For the older characters, I had a clear idea of how they appeared to me, and was hoping to see people who brought that to life, which I did! In your opinion, what can modern audiences learn or take away from Oscar Wilde's play (first performed in 1895)?

Arron Lemon: I think it's inadvisable to look for moral messages in farce, but rather to see that observational humour can maintain its life over centuries. There are many "poster" lines in the play, which Wilde has written in self effacing "perfect phrasing", but these become a jestful glimpse into the ideologies of characters we are supposed to admonish for their lack of depth. What sort of opportunities - and challenges - does the play pose for the cast?

Arron Lemon: I think the opportunity is in allowing the actors playing the protagonists to put some of themselves into some of the most famous theatrical characters ever created. This play echoes through time and they will encounter it at another juncture and say "I played them!". The challenges, as always with Wilde, are doing some sense of justice, if not truth, to some of the greatest theatre writing the English language knows.

Tickets for NWTC's The Importance of Being Earnest cost €18 for members; otherwise, €20 for adults and €10 for students. For tickets, email: or tel.: 356-339. Further details are available on the NWTC website here.