Sian returns to important role

A much-loved actress will be playing the formidable Lady Bracknell in the touring version of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Sian Phillips in The Importance of Being EarnestSian Phillips in The Importance of Being Earnest
Sian Phillips in The Importance of Being Earnest

Sian Phillips is to star alongside Nigel Havers and Martin Jarvis at the Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday, September 15, to Saturday, September 19.

Sian said: “It has to be a very different take on the part because we are all 30 years too old for the parts that we are playing, so we have to explain that away.

“The conceit is that this is an amateur dramatics group who have been doing the same play for the past 40 years every five years or so. They have done it because it is always a success and even though concerns are raised about us all playing the same characters, we have all said that no one will notice.

“It is the last dress rehearsal and it is taking place at Lavinia’s drawing room because the village hall we are performing it in is not available. We have a short part playing the actors and then we slide into the play.”

It is a character she has played before in Washington and then in the West End.

Sian added: “I then came back and did this version in the West End and a short tour and it was a success so we thought we would start with this tour.

“We have been very lucky – with one or two exceptions, all of the cast who were with us for the West End have returned to do this.

“It was lovely to see everyone again. I worked with Nigel Havers in a sitcom playing his mother while Martin Jarvis was my admirer in another play we did together. In the play. I’ve had a mother/auntie relationship with both of the boys but the girls I have not worked with before but are charming.”

Sian also says that she has been lucky throughout her career and with the type of parts she has had in her later life.

She added: “I have always enjoyed everything I have done. It has been strange career path because I have found that in the last 10 years I have been doing more theatre work.

“Normally when people get to my age, actors stop doing theatre but I have been lucky that I have wanted to do all of the parts that I have played.

“There was times when I did a lot of Tennessee Williams plays that I loved performing.

“I loved doing some of the drama series on television such as I Claudius and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Crime and Punishment. I also love doing musicals, I played the part in the musical Cabaret of Fraulein Schneider which was a delight.”

For tickets to see it at Milton Keynes call 0844 871 7652 or visit