A VICTORIAN satire on social obligations, The Importance of Being Earnest is heralded as one of the funniest plays ever written and had delighted audiences for over 100 years.

Oscar Wilde's play will now be brought to life in the grand Victorian setting of the Bolton’s beautiful Albert Halls in a fresh and vibrant new production directed by Suba Das, Artistic Director of HighTide Festival. The production will open next month at the Albert Halls, Bolton whilst the Octagon Theatre building is undergoing a major redevelopment.

Bachelors and best friends Jack and Algernon create alter egos to escape their tiresome lives. However when they both fall in love and attempt to win the hearts of two women the pair become tangled in a tale of deception, disguise and misadventure.

Celebrated stage and screen actors will bring the wonderfully witty and deliciously decadent comedy to life.

Coronation Street’s Vicky Entwistle recently seen on stage in the musical of Doctor Dolittle will play governess Miss Prism. She will be joined on stage by another Coronation Street alumni Dean Fagan who

will be taking on the role of the seemingly responsible and respectable Jack Worthing.

With a CV spanning leading roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in the West End, and at the UK's major regional theatres including Leeds Playhouse and the Royal Exchange, Sarah Ball makes her

Octagon debut as the formidable Lady Bracknell.

Previously a leading man in Dreamboats and Petticoats and Ghost Stories in the West End, and The Fool in King Lear at the Old Vic, David Cardy is best known to audiences for creating the role of Chris

Theodopolopodous in the hit sitcom Birds of the Feather, he will now take on the role of the absent minded country vicar Reverend Dr Chasuble.

The charming and idle bachelor Algernon Moncrieff will be played by Jack Hardwick who starred in Long Day’s Journey into Night at the West End.

Completing the cast are Elizabeth Twells, who was in Death of a Salesman at The Royal Exchange. She plays the strong willed and sophisticated Gwendolen Fairfax. Melissa Lowe as Cecily Cardew and Dan Sheader takes on the roles of butler Merriman and manservant Lane.

Suba said: "I'm thrilled we've assembled such an extraordinary and diverse cast for our fun-filled production of The Importance of Being Earnest with actors local to Bolton as well as stars of the small

screen and the West End all making their Octagon debuts.

"Coupled with David Woodhead's stylish design, which draws inspiration from the lavish photography studios of the Victorian era and the portraits of John Singer Sargent, a contemporary of Oscar Wilde's, this phenomenal cast will bring even more wit and glamour to this most hilarious of plays and I hope Bolton's amazing audiences will have an absolute ball. Let the madness commence."

The play runs from June 6 to June 15.

For tickets visit www.octagonbolton.co.uk