CHATS celebrates Oscar Wilde’s birthday with ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

The cast of CHATS ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ in costume on set. Photo: supplied.


OSCAR Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 and became one of the best known and loved English playwrights of the late nineteenth century.

Coffs Harbour Amateur Theatrical Society (CHATS) premiered their production of Wilde’s last and possibly most famous play, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, last Friday 15 October at the Jetty memorial Theatre.

Widely regarded as one of the funniest comedies of the era, CHATS have put together a skilled cast and crew who deliver a delightful rendition of this timeless classic.

The opening night audience reacted to the play with plenty of laughter, enjoying the frothy drawing room dialogue and trenchant wit.

Local writer, performer and comedian Kelly McLoughlin said, “The fact that, more than a century later, an audience can be captivated by a story with no action and no violence is testament to the power of Wilde’s words.

“At the same time, it is the reason why Earnest can never truly be modernised.”

Fabulous performances from Emma Hindmarsh (Cecily), Fiona Stiles (Gwendolen), Jenny Touzel (Lady Bracknell), Virginia Craze (Miss Prism), Marcus Nevin (Algernon) and Marty Elliott (Jack) capture the language of the day perfectly and deliver nuance and humour throughout.

The principal actors are ably supported by Mark Fifield as both Lane the Butler and Dr Chasuble and Allan Green (Merriman) who provides live music from the theatre’s baby grand piano in the wings.

Director Rex Madigan said, “It is so pleasing to see the audience loving our show, especially given the challenges we have faced in getting it on stage due to lockdowns and restrictions.

“I hope Coffs Harbour people take some time to come and have a laugh with us here at the Jetty Memorial Theatre.”

The show has four more performances on tonight (Friday 22/10), tomorrow at 2pm and 8pm, and the final show on Sunday at 2pm.

More information and tickets available at, and please note that proper authentication of your vaccinations will be required.


By:David TUNE

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