FULL marks to Wimborne Drama for a faultless summer evening’s entertainment, bringing a classic Oscar Wilde play to life.

The audience arrived early to take full advantage of the picturesque Deans Court setting to arrange their deck chairs, picnic blankets and tuck into picnics – possibly including cucumber sandwiches and muffins so often referred to on stage.

Each actor performed their role in this light comedy of errors with aplomb. The two male leads, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, were perfect as the dandies who both claim be called “Ernest”, sparking much confusion.

Lady Bracknell’s withering observations on life and society had spot-on delivery, and the whole show sparkled – right down to the servants’ amusing set changes. As dusk neared, and the breeze rustled leaves high up in the historic estate’s trees, we were transported back to the late Victorian era, chuckling away as they haplessly create a silly mess.

This opening gala performance, the first of three sold-out dates, raised £1,000 for Julia’s House hospice.

It was Wimborne Drama’s first outdoor performance, and hopefully the first of many.