HAVE you ever taken afternoon tea or sipped a mint leaf-infused elderflower pressé at the York Mansion House, Georgian residence of the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of York?

Until August 4, you can go Wilde in the Dining Room and the State Room, which have become respectively the London residence of Algernon Moncrieff (Louis Roberts) and country manor house of John Worthing JP (Sam Gannon).

Should you attend a matinee performance, courtesy of the National Trust, you will be served tea (cucumber sandwiches, pastries, lavender biscuits etc) by the servants that also see you to your seats.

Either the Barbershop Quartet Singers or a folk singer, Paul Culkin or Helen Buchanan, set the scene too, and Tom Jackson’s urbane butler Lane will be grateful he is spared Algernon’s erratic piano playing in one of the judicious cuts that keeps Max Gee’s abridged adaptation to just over two hours.

Samuel Woods, the southern director in charge of a troupe of northern actors, oversees a fast-moving, polished debut promenade production by York company Theatre Mill, full of heightened expression by the pouting Roberts and the more subtle Gannon, who both interact directly with an audience within touching distance.

Designed and costumed by Jo Keogh for 1910, Oscar Wilde’s comedy of high society manners is at its most fun when Fiona Organ’s Gwendolen Fairfax and Lucy Rafton’s Cecily Cardew are sparring over tea in the garden as they cling to the coat tails of politeness.

Martina McClements’s Baroness Thatcher-voiced Lady Bracknell is all the better for avoiding histrionics and exaggeration, while Mandy Newby’s Miss Prism and Jackson’s Canon Chasuble are a delightfully timid double act.

Already plans are afoot to take Wood’s spiffing production to the country next summer. Important news indeed.

The Importance Of Being Earnest, Theatre Mill, York Mansion House, St Helen’s Square, York, until August 4. Box office: 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk