Interview: Glen Goei for The Importance of Being Earnest

Why did you decide on an all-male cast?
When I read the play, I could just hear Oscar Wilde’s voice in every character, especially in Lady Bracknell’s. So I thought that since this was my tribute to Wilde, why not cast every character as himself. Besides that, I thought it would be fun and naughty—something I think Wilde would have approved of.

Are there any specific difficulties or perks to working with an all-male cast? 
Working with a cast full of male egos can be difficult but not when the biggest ego is my own. I always tell my cast to leave their egos at home because the rehearsal room has only room for one.

Any wardrobe malfunctions?
The actors have a competition to see who can lose the most weight by opening night—pure vanity—so the poor wardrobe mistress has to constantly take in the waist on their trousers.

Why did you decide to bring the show back?
My audiences were clamoring for it so I finally acceded to their demands!

How is this staging different from the 2009 version?
Besides the inclusion of Lim Kay Siu as the Reverend Chasuble—who falls in love with Hossan Leong’s Miss Prism—we are thrilled to present for the first time a young and talented brand new string quartet who have been handpicked and mentored by the Tang Quartet as the next generation to possible succeed them.

What parallels can be drawn between Victorian society and Singapore society?
The superficialities and hypocrisies of the elite and middle classes. Need I say more?

The Importance of Being Earnest is on April 10-May 4 at The Drama Centre.