Pan Pan Theatre presents
The Importance of Nothing
A comedy about a drama therapy class in an imaginary prison.
Picture an imaginary prison where the drama therapy is twenty fours a day. Drama therapist, Lady Lancing and her husband Omar have dedicated their lives to conducting anti-homophobic workshops utilizing the life and works of Oscar Wilde.
The prisoner’s patience and imaginations are teased to refashion or to completely overhaul Wilde’s material and the threads that are interwoven through his works and the social conventions of the past century.
The Importance of Nothing is partly inspired by Wilde’s period in prison. In 1895, Wilde was convicted of homosexual activity and sentenced to the maximum penalty: two years of hard labour. The experience had a strong impact on his flamboyant personality, manifested in De Produndis, a long letter to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas.
The Importance of Nothing can be seen as a contemporary reflection on Wilde at large: his works, his life and the conventions of his time. The play interweaves passages from Wilde’s plays and poems, real-life stories from Mark O’Halloran and Andrew Bennett growing up gay in Ennis and Limerick, and the harsh realities of prison-life. Wilde’s sharp humour permeates The Importance of Nothing but the undertone is a deep consideration of the many troubles of human life.