An Imagined Modern-Day Setting for "The Importance of Being Earnest"

An Imagined Modern-Day Setting for "The Importance of Being Earnest"

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Firstly I would set this play in the 21st century so that a modern audience could relate to it. Algernon, one of the main characters in the play, would live in a luxury apartment in the centre of London, over looking the River Thames. His apartment would have a minimalist theme to it and would be influenced by aesthetic; for example he would have a piece of abstract art on the wall for no reason other than that he thinks it looks nice.

Everything Algernon has in the living room is there simply because it looks good and makes Algernon look good too. The fact that he has an expensive grand piano even though he cannot play it properly shows he is rich, as he has a lot of money to spend on unnecessary luxuries, but also it reflects Oscar Wilde's belief in aesthetics, as Algernon has the piano purely because it looks nice and makes him seem like an intellectual. I would have also place a mini bar on the stage to show he likes drinking and therefore is an easy-going, happy and laid-back person, but also that he is rich as he can afford to have one.

As I have set the play in the 21st century, I would dress Cecily, another one of the four main characters, in a flowery pink dress. I have chosen the colour pink as it is a calm, pastel colour and shows Cecily's girly, childish innocence; also as we know Cecily is meant to be very pretty, the whole notion of being `pretty in pink' emphasizes on her beauty. The flowers on the dress represent the fact that she lives in the country but it is also another feminine factor. The style of the dress would be quite fashionable and casual yet at the same time elegant. I would give her a pink designer handbag in order to show that she is rich and posh. She would wear pink dolly shoes again symbolize her youth and innocence. If I were choosing an actress to play the part of Cecily, I would choose someone fair skinned with blonde hair and quite flat chested to show the innocence and purity of Cecily.

Another character I have chosen to discuss is Gwendolen. I would want Gwendolen to be the complete opposite to Cecily and so I would dress her in bold colours.

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She would wear a loud red top to show her confidence; a short attractive black skirt to show she is sure about her body and appearance, in a non-vulgar, tasteful way. She would be a business woman and would carry around a briefcase, wearing pointy stiletto heels to show she is mature and sophisticated. If I were to choose an actress to play the part of Gwendolen I would choose a South-American actress as I imagine Gwendolen as a flirty, man-eater type of woman, and South-Americans are often stereotyped in this way.

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