Friday, 6 June 2014

WILDE WEEK at the St. James Studio featuring Oscar Wilde's Grandson, Merlin Holland

Wilde Week, a week-long celebration of the life and work of Oscar Wilde, will take place from Monday 07 to Saturday 12 July 2014. The week will include three new productions which dramatically recount Wilde’s swift and painful fall from grace and subsequent imprisonment, as well as a condensed version of Wilde’s most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest, which opened in 1895 at the old St. James Theatre. It was only four days later that the Marquess of Queensberry left his calling card at Wilde's club inscribed "For Oscar Wilde, posing sodomite", inciting Wilde to sue for libel, and a mere 15 weeks after the opening of Earnest that Wilde was sent to jail.  
 The condensed version of The Importance of Being Earnest will take place at lunchtimes, as is now customary at the St. James, and also early evening at 6.15pm Monday to Thursday and 5.30pm on Friday.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Lunchtime and post-work theatre)
Monday 07 – Thursday 10 July at 1pm & 6.15pm
Friday 11 July at 1pm & 5.30pm

Butterfly Theatre return to the St. James Studio for another round of riotous “bite-size” comedy. Bring your own cucumber sandwiches and join the love-struck Jack Worthing, the feuding Cecily and Gwendolyn and the indomitable Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's classic comedy caper.  Will provide you with a spring in the step to return to work or conquer the commute home.

Tuesday 08 and Wednesday 09 July at 8pm

A dramatisation of Oscar Wilde’s “De Profundis”

Oscar Wilde’s profound and intimate letter to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, is dramatised and directed by the award-winning Gareth Armstrong and performed by Gerard Logan whose powerful performance gives us a glimpse into the bruised, loving soul of one of the greatest geniuses to have ever lived.

Tuesday 08 and Wednesday 09 July at 9.30pm

Performed by Gerard Logan (Olivier nominee and winner of The Stage’s “Best Actor” at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival), The Ballad of Reading Gaol  is a poem written by Wilde after his release from Reading gaol where he served two years’ hard labour having been convicted of homosexual offences in 1895. Gareth Armstrong dramatised and directs the poem which narrates the execution of Charles Thomas Wooldridge, who was convicted of murdering his wife, moving from an objective story-telling to Wilde’s juxtaposition of the executed man with himself.

Thursday 10 - Saturday 12 July at 8pm

'This is half archeological curiosity, half timeless fun...a perfectly judged rendering by European Arts Company' - The Times

A dramatisation of the libel and criminal trials of Oscar Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895, The Trials of Oscar Wilde is based on the original words spoken in court. Co-written by John O’Connor and Wilde’s grandson Merlin Holland, the editor of ‘Irish Peacock and Scarlet Marquess: The Real Trial of Oscar’ and directed by Peter Craze. This is the last chance to catch this world premiere on its 43 stop UK tour.

Friday 11, Saturday 12 July at 6.30pm

Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde’s only grandson, biographer and champion of his work, will be making a rare appearance in this informal talk where he questions whether it was Wilde’s homosexuality alone which brought him down. From the storm of protest engendered by the publication of The Picture of Dorian Gray to the banning of Salomé from the stage, he suggests that the motives for destroying Wilde were far more complicated than at first seem apparent.
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