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Students Fight for the Arts with Wilde – Digital Play to help Struggling Theatres and Creatives

A new twist on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is set to take the digital stage and is not only revealing some great new talent but is also rising money for one of the worthiest causes in show business.

This performance, a production by up and coming director, Adam Kinneen, is the result of months of dedication by an ambitious group of students from Newcastle University Theatre Society.

The play is performed and filmed at the Sunderland Empire and the streamed show will serve as a fundraiser for Acting for Others, a national charity which gives those working in the entertainment industry much-needed financial and emotional support.

The charity production offers Wilde’s most widely-loved and recognised play with a twist. The playwright himself will be introduced as a character at three intervals during the performance. These scenes, which are written by director, Adam Kinneen, draw on Wilde’s letters and words, giving an unseen insight into his remarkable life.

Those insights track his magnificent rise to stardom, from the successes of The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest, to his heartbreaking downfall following allegations about his sexuality.

The entire production will also be performed against the backdrop of the 2,000 empty seats of the magnificent Sunderland Empire, symbolically calling attention to the suffering of the arts industry throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

The very fact that this digital production of The Importance of Being Earnest has been able to go ahead, despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis, is a neat reflection of Wilde’s own story of resilience in the face of adversity.

Financial insecurity is a familiar reality for those working in the entertainment industry, however, the pandemic has only exacerbated that uncertainty. This production of The Importance of Being Earnest represents an attempt to recognise and repay those working in the entertainment industry, and to fight for the survival of the UK’s arts sector more broadly.

The work that Acting for Others does for people who are in need of support, financial or otherwise, is crucial in order to maintain the momentum of the UK’s arts industry. The profits made from ticket sales to The Importance of Being Earnest will go to his very necessary charity, helping to secure the future of the UK’s talented pool of artists and creatives.

Tickets to this charity production of The Importance of Being Earnest go on sale JUNE 2

5th. The performance will be available on Stream.Theatre/Broadway on Demand UK from JULY 2nd to July 16th, with ticket holders having access to it throughout this period.


Directed by: Adam Kinneen

Produced by: Adam Kinneen, Frances

Darwin, Lucy Newbold

Additional scenes written by: Adam Kinneen

Filmed at: The Sunderland Empire

Tickets available: June 25th

Available to stream: July 2nd, on stream.theatre/Broadway on Demand

Ticket Price: £12

Running Time: Approx 120 Minutes


Oscar Wilde – Leo MacNeill

Robbie Ross – Conor O’Hara

Algernon Moncrieff – Jay Robinson

Jack Worthing – Max Brennan

Gwendolen Fairfax – Bugsy Bannon

Cecily Cardew – Martha Watson

Lady Bracknell – Louisa Rimmer

Miss Prism – Ellie Denton

Dr Chasuble – Harry Higgins

Merriman – Sean Kavanagh

Lane – Finlay Worallo

Director Adam Kinneen said: “Oscar Wilde figured out the key to immortality was art. He lived as an artist so that his work would live beyond him. When the ‘Save the arts’ movement began to gain traction in the UK, I couldn’t think of anyone better than Wilde to represent why we must protect and preserve the UK’s entertainment industry and all the creatives that form a part of it.”

A spokesperson for Acting for Others said: “It is so important that we keep our fundraising campaigns going strong through these difficult times. Even as theatres begin to reopen, many workers will still need our help now and in the future. Many of the Acting for Others annual fundraising events have been casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic; the annual bucket collections in theatres across the UK, The West End Flea Market and One Night Only at The Ivy.

Without the help and enthusiasm of the theatrical community, generous donations and brilliant events like these, Acting for Others could not have continued to support theatre workers through the network of 14 member charities. Thank you all!”


* President: Dame Judi Dench.

* An umbrella charity made up of 14 other individual charities.

* The member charities dispense over £2 million to hundreds of people within the entertainment profession every year.

* With its member charities, it has raised £1.7million for those in need since the beginning of the pandemic.

* Take a look at – Acting For Others


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