A Port Coquitlam native is starring in the Arts Club Theatre production of The Importance of Being Earnest, playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage in Vancouver until April 15.
Ella Simon won the role of Cecily Cardew in Oscar Wilde's most beloved play, dubbed "a trivial comedy for serious people," marking her Arts Club debut.
"I feel extremely blessed and lucky to be part of such an amazing group of goofballs, as I like to call them," Simon joked. "Everybody that's cast is just an amazing comedian, everybody is so talented, so I feel really lucky and fortunate to be part of so many great actors."
The role is far from Simon's first turn at comedy, however, making her a strong fit for the role of a young English woman living in a fantasy world in a play full of hilarious witticisms.
Cecily Cardew, an 18-year-old who has been raised primarily by her guardian and governess, Miss Prism, has lived a fairly secluded life, albeit one of ease and luxury. "She has everything her heart could desire, except that sense of adventure," Simon said of her character.
To make up for the lack of intrigue and excitement in her world, Cardew creates a love story for herself, one where she marries a dashing man named Ernest.
Soon enough Cardew (along with Gwendolen Fairfax, the other female lead in the play, who also dreams of marrying a man named Ernest) meets Algernon, the fictional brother of Jack, who is the object of Gwendolen's affection.
Pandemonium ensues, however, when the two wealthy playboys - one from the city, the other from the country - discover they have both assumed an alter-ego named Ernest so that each can behave recklessly in the other's territory without tarnishing his own reputation.
Director David Mackay calls the play "line for line, the funniest play written in the English language."
The secret is to play the serious subject matters, such as marriage, friendships and child/parent relationships, with triviality while treating trivial matters - losing your cigarette case, choosing where to eat and what to read - with paramount urgency.
Mackay describes it as "sweat the little stuff, and treat important matters in the most blasé manner.
"I think we always run the risk of taking life far too seriously," he said in a release. "Thankfully, with this great comedic cast, we hope to take the piss out of that."
The Importance of Being Earnest plays at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville St., Vancouver) until April 15. Tickets are $29 to $65, available at 604-687-1644 or www.artsclub.com.