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The Trials of Oscar Wilde - Stonewall to receive a special charity performance at Greenwich Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE PERFORMANCE of The Trials of Oscar Wilde at Greenwich Theatre on Sunday, June 15, 2014, will be in aid of the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, Stonewall.

Richard Lane, Media Manager of Stonewall said:

“We’re thrilled that European Arts Company are supporting our work and delighted that money raised from the June 15 showing of The Trials of Oscar Wilde will support our work to tackle homophobic bullying in schools. Many people are unaware of the persecution that Oscar Wilde faced simply because of his sexual orientation. It’s important that we continue to tell this story to inspire future generations”.

Proceeds from ticket sales for the show alongside a traditional after show bucket collection will help to raise funds for Stonewall.

Previously Posted: European Arts Company’s world premiere production of The Trials of Oscar Wilde, by Merlin Holland and John O’Connor, will visit Greenwich Theatre (June 15) and St James Theatre (July 10 to July 12, 2014) as part of a 43-venue UK tour.

Thursday, February 14, 1895 was the triumphant opening night of The Importance of Being Earnest and the zenith of Oscar Wilde’s career. Less than 100 days later he found himself a common prisoner and bankrupt, sentenced to two years hard labour.

But what happened during the trials and what did Wilde say? Was he harshly treated or the author of his own downfall? Using the actual words spoken in court, audiences can feel what it was like to be in the company of a flawed genius – ‘as this less than ideal husband was tragically reduced to a man of no importance’.

This new show about the libel and criminal trials of Oscar Wilde was co-written with Merlin Holland, who is Oscar Wilde’s grandson and author of Irish Peacock and Scarlet Marquess: The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde.

Merlin Holland says: “I’m delighted to be working with European Arts Company on a dramatised version of the trials of my grandfather, Oscar Wilde. Over the years, there have been a number of attempts to tell the story on stage but none of them has really managed to bring alive the drama of Oscar’s courtroom appearances.

The Trails of Oscar Wlde - Evolutions Photo

“Using the actual words from the libel trial, recently discovered more than a hundred years after the event, and with a careful reconstruction of Wilde’s prosecution by the Crown for homosexuality, it’s a chance for audiences to see the real Oscar for the first time. This new production shows him fighting for his art as well as his life and we get a real sense of Oscar’s intellect at full stretch – his complexity, wit and deep humanity.”

Peter Craze (Doctor Who, Blake’s Seven) directs a cast that includes John Gorick (Holby City and Understudy for Rowan Atkinson in Quartermaine’s Terms) as Oscar Wilde; Rupert Mason (EastEnders, A Touch of Frost) as Edward Carson, Lord Queensberry, Alfred Wood, Charles Gill, Fred Atkins, Jane Cotter; and William Kempsell (The Mystery of Irma Vep, Jack Studio Theatre – 2014 best actor nominee in the Off West End Awards) as Sir Edward Clarke, Sidney Wright, William Allen, Charles Parker, Antonio Migge.

The Trials of Oscar Wilde is supported by Arts Council England (through the grants for the arts scheme) and by Unity Theatre Trust, in association with Stonewall.

For more information or to book visit www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk/ or www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/.