Story by Jack Foley
HOT-on-the-heels of the rapid demise of West End show, Murderous
Instincts, comes Oscar Wilde, a fringe production
which suffered the dubious distinction of closing after only one
night earlier this week.
The musical, written by former DJ Mike Read to commemorate the
150th anniversary of the birth of the poet, suffered so many bad
reviews following its press night that only five out of the 466
tickets were sold for the first public performance at newly-refurbished
Shaw Theatre, in north London.
As a result, the owners made the difficult decision to close
The demise of the show follows a number of high-profile, theatrical
failures, and will no doubt have Wilde turning in his grave.
He once famously proclaimed that
'there is only one thing worse in the world than being talked
about and that is NOT being talked about'.
Yet, the poet very rarely, if ever, suffered a bad review and
would have been most upset about Read's version, which dealt with
the last six years of his life.
The popular Irish playwright died in a Paris hotel, in 1900,
at the age of 46, impoverished and disgraced after a scandal surrounding
Critics described it as 'excruciating' and 'over two hours of
leaden dross' - even though IndieLondon's David Munro found some
of the performances - from Peter Blake (Wilde) and Anita Louise
Combe (as Constance) - worthy of merit.
He concluded that the musical was 'the curate's egg – good
in parts, although I did not find the sum of the parts added up
to a satisfactory whole'.
And while Read is no doubt licking his wounds, he still announced
his intention to complete his next musical, YMCA - which
is designed as a tribute to gay icons, The Village People.