To Hell in a Handbag
Helen Norton and Jonathan White
Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead started life on the Fringe so why not an equivalent for The Importance of Being Earnest?
To Hell in a Handbag takes those eternal innocents Miss Prism and Canon Chasuble and puts them centre-stage. This requires a number of skills on the part of playwrights Helen Norton and Jonathan White.
Overall, the pairing from Ireland do a good job, creating a pleasant 50 minutes that pay homage to Wilde and gently amuse their packed audience.
The writer/performers’ greatest strength lies in the pastiche of the master's prose style.
Chasuble also feels like the same weak priest that their fellow countryman created over a century ago. However, this Miss Prism is fearsome and almost dastardly, which is a long way from the original or her greatest incarnation, the ineffably dotty Margaret Rutherford.
The plotting can be a little far-fetched but parts are entirely in character and can be very funny.
The target market—Wilde fans—will undoubtedly enjoy the experience.
Reviewer: Philip Fisher