Poirot star heading north in Oscar Wilde play

STAR BILLING: David Suchet in an Oscar Wilde classic.

STAR BILLING: David Suchet in an Oscar Wilde classic.

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MUCH-loved television star David Suchet is coming to Newcastle Theatre Royal in a brand new guise - as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Often described as “one of the funniest plays in the English language”, Oscar Wilde’s satire on Victorian manners promises to have audiences laughing out loud.

The play concerns the lives of two bachelor friends, upper crust dandy Algernon Moncrieff and the most reliable John Worthing JP who lead double lives to court the attentions of the desirable Gwendolyn Fairfax and Cecily Cardew.

The gallants must then grapple with the uproarious consequences of their ruse, with the formidable Lady Bracknell, played by David Suchet.

David is best known for his role as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s Poirot. He has recently completed all 74 Poirot TV films, which is the whole canon of Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories.

But leaving the famous Frenchman behind and stepping into the shoes of a woman was an offer that concerned the actor at first: “I agreed to the idea with slight trepidation but once I’d looked into it and realised that such notable actors as Brian Bedford on Broadway and Geoffrey Rush in Australia had played Lady Bracknell, I could see that I’d be following in a line of leading male performers and I felt more comfortable.”

David will be joined on stage by Michelle Dotrice (playing Miss Prism), who appeared on Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em.

• The Importance of Being Earnest is at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from June 8 to 13.

Tickets are from £14.50 from 08448 112121.