Denzel Westley-Sanderson to direct new tour of The Importance of Being Earnest

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Denzel Westley-Sanderson is to direct a new touring production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

The winner of the Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021 will helm the co-production between English Touring Theatre (ETT), Leeds Playhouse and Rose Theatre.


The new production will tour in autumn 2022 with dates to be announced.

Oscar Wilde’s genius humour meets contemporary culture in this theatrical rollercoaster packed with chart-toppers, shade, wit, and plenty of gags.

Award-winner Denzel Westley-Sanderson breathes fresh new life into Wilde’s sharpest and most outrageous comedy: The Importance of Being Earnest.

This vibrant retelling brings warmth, relevance, and unique insight to this classic satire about dysfunctional families, class, gender, and sexuality.

Denzel Westley-Sanderson said: “I’m honoured to have received the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award. Touring is such a vital part of the theatre industry, and I’m excited to be a part of that, and to open the season at Leeds Playhouse with The Importance of Being Earnest. Expect all the sass, shade, and wit this play has to offer.”

Richard Twyman, Artistic Director of ETT and Holly Gladwell, Executive Producer (Maternity Cover) of ETT, commented: “We’re extremely excited to begin work on Denzel Westley-Sanderson’s RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award-winning production this Autumn.

“This is ETT’s fourth year collaborating with the Royal Theatrical Support Trust; an award which opens up national stages to a director at a crucial point in their career, giving them the opportunity to share work with audiences across the country.

“This is a unique award which has led to some of the most thrilling work we’ve made at ETT, and we’re delighted to be working with Denzel on his production, in partnership with Leeds Playhouse and the Rose Theatre. He’s an intuitive, playful, and visionary director and we can’t wait to see what he will do with this iconic text.”

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