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Reading Gaol - Theatre N16

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

LONDON Fringe theatre company Proforca are presenting Reading Gaol, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s final work, at Theatre N16 from July 23 to August 2, 2018.

Following the critical success of their show Feel, which recently ran at the King’s Head Theatre and the Lion and Unicorn Theatre as well as enjoying successful stints in Hertford and Coventry, the company now return with a challenging new staging of Oscar Wilde’s ballad, remixed with five new pieces of writing to tell the stories of five men’s oppression, incarceration and hope.

In this adaptation, the original text of the ballad is combined with new voices, storytelling and physical theatre to create a much darker, more confrontational, visceral and thought-provoking piece: an exploration of the deprivation of liberty experienced by prisoners at the turn of the Century.

The show itself is a series of pieces, written by a diverse team of writers, that elucidate the various different voices and themes in Wilde’s work.

Originally staged by Proforca in 2017, Reading Gaol has now been expanded into the challenging new performance space at Theatre N16, with the show being performed in traverse. This will offer a truly unique take on Oscar Wilde, and an eye-opening contrast to other Oscar Wilde productions that are rarely explored immersively.

Reading Gaol explores oppression, censorship and conformity in our increasingly conservative society, from the grime of Victorian England to the forests of Africa and back.

Written by Catrin Keeler, James Lewis, Simon Marshall, and Erin Read, Reading Gaol is directed by David Brady.

Tickets: £14, £11 concessions. To book, visit

Times: Monday to Wednesday at 8.30pm (7.30pm from July 30).

Running Time: 110 minutes (including interval).