Of course, having a female play the role of John (Jack) Worthy (the cunning and dashing male lead) or even Algernon (the secondary but competing for primary cunning and dashing male), would be out of the question. No, a woman playing a man is not funny, not at all, particularly not a man who should make both men and women swoon like that Jack Worthy. Everyone knows that. It is only funny when men are taking away from women. It is only funny when men out-women women.
Shall I even bother to mention how difficult it is to find out who will be playing the other two female characters in the play, —Cecily Cardew and Miss Laetitia Prism? Obviously, their roles are not important enough to mention on the website. If you are curious to know the names of the two butlers Merriman and Lane who have less lines than a rehabilitated coke addict, they are Tim MacDonald and Robert Persichini respectively.
See, we, in the name of fraudulent progressiveness, are to rejoice in Bedford’s choice to play a female role and ignore how he is taking work away from a woman. If you dare complain, you are against deconstructing gender roles. Something you will only be when you point out how males are disproportionately represented even when the play itself does not require that disproportion. Counting characters with significant dialogue, the original play calls for, four females, Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen, Cecily and Miss Prism and three males, John, Algernon, and Rev. Chasuble. Bedford unapologetically commandeers one of those female roles and the website erases two more by not listing the actors portraying Cecily and Miss Prism. I am assuming a Cecily will have to be in the play, but no sign of a Miss Prism. Maybe they have not been casted yet or maybe Miss Prism has been written out. Nevertheless, it reveals the rub. The casting of two women does not take priority over Bedford’s photo shoot in drag. That detail has been accomplished for sure.
If you shut your mouth and rave about how you cannot wait to pay money to watch a man perform a role an aging woman could have had, in addition to his already prestigious role of director, you are an ally. Gold star! If not, poo poo on you.
It may be trivial, but there it is. If the patriarchy is not blatantly overshadowing, it is creeping. Never does it cease.