Reading Open Air

by Oscar Wilde

Importance of Beeing Earnest posterOpen Air Theatre at Reading Abbey Ruins
17-27 July 2024

Book Tickets

No performance on Monday 22 July

Matinées on Saturday's 20th & 27th July, Sunday 21st July

Planning your visit . Our open air history

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple"

The most renowned of Oscar Wilde’s comedies. It’s the story of two bachelors, John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff, who create alter egos named Ernest to escape their tiresome lives.

They attempt to win the hearts of two women who, conveniently, claim to only love men called Ernest. The pair struggle to keep up with their own stories and become tangled in a tale of deception, disguise and misadventure.

The elaborate plot ridicules Victorian sensibilities with some of the best-loved characters on the modern stage.

See Planning Your Visit for directions, times, facilities and what to bring.

Wet weather will not stop the show, unless conditions become dangerous. There are no refunds but if there are tickets available later in the run we can transfer your tickets to another night.
Contact [email protected]


Algernon - Matthew Urwin 
Lane - Dean Stephenson
Jack - Chris Westgate
Gwendoline - Stephanie Ness
Lady Bracknell - Caroline Warner
Miss Prism - Liz Paulo
Cecily - Nancy Gittus
Dr Chasuble - Paul Gittus
Merriman - John Goodman

Directed by Steph Dewar.  

Cast of The Importance of Being Earnest at Reading Abbey July 2024

Planning your visit . Our open air history