A dramatisation of the libel and criminal trials of Oscar Wilde is to be portrayed at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds next month.
It is being performed by the European Arts Company and Mappa Mundi Theatre (in association with Theatr Mwldan) and follows a sell-out West End run of The Trials of Oscar Wilde.
Thursday, February 14, 1895, was the triumphant opening night of The Importance of Being Earnest and the zenith of Wilde’s career.
Less than 100 days later, he found himself a common prisoner sentenced to two years’ hard labour.
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, we can feel what it was like to be in the company of a flawed genius – as this less than ideal husband is suddenly reduced to a man of no importance.
It stars John Gorick as Oscar Wilde; Rupert Mason as his accuser, the Marquess of Queensbury; Patrick Knox plays Sir Edward Clarke QC and others; and Benjamin Darlington plays the rent boy Charles Parker (one of the witnesses used against Oscar) and many other roles.
The play is directed by John O’Connor who said of the production: “The show raises important questions in the audience’s minds about individual liberty, exploitation and the role of the establishment in bringing Wilde down. They can judge for themselves if Oscar is hero or villain, saint or sinner, victim or fool. As he said himself, ‘the truth is rarely pure and never simple’.”
The Trials of Oscar Wilde is at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds for one night only, Thursday, May 16, at 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale at the Box Office, call 01284 769505, book online at www.theatreroyal.org/shows/the-trials-of-oscar-wilde/or visit the theatre in person.