Doctor Who’s Ncuti Gatwa will lead the cast of a new production of Oscar Wilde classic The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde’s eternally popular play, The Importance of Earnest, is returning to the London stage for a new production. Doctor Who himself, Ncuti Gatwa, will take a central role in the comedy of errors when it begins at the National Theatre this November. Gatwa plays Algernon Moncrieff, one of a pair of eligible young men who hide their party-going ways by assuming fake identities. But when true love comes calling, they must somehow navigate their way out of their maze of lies without losing their newfound soulmates.

Gatwa’s partner in these misadventures is Hugh Skinner (W1A, The Windsors) as Jack Worthing. They’ll be kept in line by another fellow Doctor Who face. Sharon D Clarke, who played Grace O’Brien in Series 11, will be the formidable, scene-stealing, ever quotable, Lady Bracknell.

Ticket are on sale now ahead of the action’s arrival at London’s South Bank on the 20th of November. There’s a range of price points available across the dates, starting at £25. Innovations for this production include ‘smart caption’ glasses, providing subtitles of the dialogue for hearing impaired patrons in real time.

With Ncuti Gatwa’s second series of Doctor Who recently finished filming, and the Scottish actor promising to be “around for a while,” production seems to be pausing to get its breath back before plunging in to the 2026 season.

Until then, Gatwa’s adventures aboard the TARDIS continue with Dot and Bubble, dropping simultaneously on Disney+ and iPlayer at midnight BST, Friday night.

 

Poster for The Importance of Being Earnest starring Ncuti Gatwa. A mean dressed in top hat and tails runs away from us at speed, in a panic against a hot pink background (c) National Theatre
The Importance of Being Earnest starring Ncuti Gatwa (c) National Theatre

The Importance of Being Earnest

A Trivial Comedy for Serious People

Being sensible can be excessively boring. At least Jack thinks so.

While assuming the role of dutiful guardian in the country, he lets loose in town under a false identity. Meanwhile, his friend Algy takes on a similar facade.

Unfortunately, living a double life has its drawbacks, especially when it comes to love. Hoping to impress two eligible ladies, the gentlemen find themselves caught in a web of lies they must carefully navigate.

Max Webster (Donmar’s Macbeth; Life of Pi) directs a joyful and flamboyant reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s most celebrated comedy. Olivier Award-winner Sharon D Clarke (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Doctor Who) is joined by Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who; Sex Education) and Hugh Skinner (W1A; Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) in this hilarious story of identity, impersonation and romance.