The show must go on and it did.

And applause all round for a talented team of dedicated super troupers.

To stage Oscar Wilde's 1895 gem of a play - a trivial comedy for serious people - in the open air was an inspired idea, but director Dean Sullivan could not have envisaged the outside forces that made him have his wits about him.

Firstly, due to unforeseen circumstances, the actor playing John/Jack Worthing was replaced by Dean himself who on opening night gave a short introduction on how he would be using a book to read from.

Secondly our recent heatwave didn't last and ironically the summer umbrellas featured in the play would have come in handy for the incessant, unexpected rain.

So Wilde's three-act delightful drama took place for two weekend performances inside the beautiful church of Our Lady and St Nicholas at the Pier Head.

Praise be... for plan B.

Despite some early sound problems and Joe McGhee's (initially) over-excitable Algernon, a balanced pace was soon established and the cast - in splendid period costumes - responded with commendable professionalism.

After a while it was suitably forgotten that Dean as John/Jack/Ernest was reading from a hand-held script.

After weeks of rehearsals his fellow actors (and designer Pamela Stokes) adapted very well to the sudden change sprung upon them and suitably glided through the production.

Suzanne Collins, a Royal Court stalwart in their smash hit comedies is also a formidable straight actress.

And while this is one of Wilde's greatest comic works any interpretation of Gwendolyn Fairfax requires nuance.

Suzanne's timing, like her character's upper class accent, was near perfect.

The very versatile writer/ director /actress Lynn Fitzgerald clearly relished the role of Lady Bracknell

Imagine Anne Widdecombe with charm.

When it came to the 'a handbag' moment it was glorious and Lynn's expressive delivery nearly brought the church roof down.

Fine performances , too, from Kate McAuliffe as Miss Prism; Caitlin Mary Carley Clough as Cecily Cardew and Kevin McMahon as the Rev. Chausible.

And well done to Crispin Pailing (Lane) and Owen Welsh (as Merriman) as the supporting man servants.

Oh and I must give the audience a mention some of whom brought picnics.

This joyous production, part of the Pride 2019 attractions, saw Dean and Co magically pull a rabbit from the top hat and in the process pay heart-warming homage to the time-less genius of Mr Wilde.

Engaging and charming - four stars!