A powerful new play written by the grandson of one of literature’s most controversial figures will be staged at the theatre on Saturday 11 October at 7.30pm.
'The Trials of Oscar Wilde' relives the courtroom drama that led to Wilde’s shock conviction and sentencing for gross indecency with other men in 1895. The script is the result of a collaboration between Merlin Holland (Wilde’s only grandchild and biographer/editor of his forebear’s works) and playwright John O’Connor, using the original transcripts of Wilde’s court appearances.
The play is set at the zenith of Wilde’s career (February 1895) when his masterpiece 'The Importance of Being Earnest' was still on stage in London. But it was also a time of sexual discrimination and in just a few short months, he found himself a common prisoner and sentenced to two years’ hard labour. After his release from prison he left immediately for France dying destitute in Paris at the age of 46.
So what happened during the trials and what did Wilde say? Was he persecuted or the author of his own downfall? Using the original words spoken in court, the audience will be invited to feel what it was like to be in the company of a flawed genius – as this less than ideal husband was suddenly reduced to a man of no importance.
Directed by Peter Craze, 'The Trials of Oscar Wilde' features John Gorick as the lofty and witty Wilde ("If England treats her criminals the way she has treated me, she doesn't deserve to have any.") and William Kempsell and Rupert Mason take on a multitude of roles from the court room barristers to rent boys, chambermaids, ‘professors of the masseur’, policemen and blackmailers.
The Georgian Theatre will be the last venue of this short UK tour by the European Arts Company before it transfers to London’s West End.
“A sell-out success. John Gorick is a beguiling Wilde in a smart play that reveals the establishment at its worst.” The Observer
The Trials of Oscar Wilde is hugely enjoyable and thought provoking. Wilde aficionados will love it – but the themes reverberate far wider.” Entertainment Focus
Tickets from £7 to £20 are available from the Box Office on 01748 825252 or via the online booking service on this website.