Following its sell-out run at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, To Hell in a Handbag: The Secret Lives of Canon Chasuble and Miss Prism, written and performed by Helen Norton and Jonathan White will embark on its first UK tour in November 2018.
Hailed by the Observer as a ’comic gem‘ and ’a hoot of an instant classic‘, the play’s action runs in parallel to Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and follows two of that play’s minor characters – a country rector and a governess – as their lives of Victorian propriety unravel in a tale of blackmail, embezzlement and false identity, a subversively funny new take on an Irish comedy classic.
The production received four- and five-star reviews in Edinburgh and subsequently toured all over Ireland. The Sunday Independent called it ‘Wickedly, side-splittingly funny, in a sophisticated, witty and elegant way… a joyous romp not to be missed, a worthy homage to its master and progenitor‘. The Mail on Sunday said ’To Hell in a Handbag is a delight – beautifully written and acted with exquisite comic timing.’
This tour will also bring the play back to the heart of its own origins. One of the venue stops on the way – Worthing – was the place where Wilde wrote The Importance of Being Earnest and indeed he incorporated it into his story. His leading character was famously found in a handbag as a baby, and given the name Worthing because his benefactor had a ticket for that Sussex seaside resort in his pocket.
Venues and dates
GRAVESEND The Woodville – Tuesday 6 November
HEDGE END The Berry – Thursday 8 November
BRIDPORT Arts Centre – Friday 9 November
WORTHING Connaught Studio – Wednesday 14 November
CANTERBURY The Marlowe Kit – Thursday 15 November
NEW MILTON Forest Arts Centre – Friday 16 November
WALLINGFORD Corn Exchange – Saturday 17 November
FARNHAM Maltings (Great Hall) – Tuesday 20 November
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD Old Town Hall – Wednesday 21 November
COLCHESTER Lakeside – Thursday 22 November
DORCHESTER Arts Centre – Friday 23 November
ISLE OF WIGHT Quay Arts – Saturday 24 November