Wilde’s love letter dramatised

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On Sunday September 18, the Rye Arts Festival presented a  performance of Wilde without the Boy, a genuine outpouring about a soul in torment as Wilde was obsessed with his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, and this obsession lost him his freedom. It is a tumultuous love story and Gerard Logan in this show makes a very convincing Wilde. It takes some skill to learn a monologue of this length and magnitude and deliver it with such sustained charisma.

The audience’s silence during the show was palpable. No-one coughed, no-one moved and we were all transported to Reading Gaol. The sparse set was all that was needed as Gerard owned the stage. This was a poignant dramatisation of one of the greatest love letters ever written. Gerard collaborated with Gareth Armstrong to produce the script.

Gareth and Gerard felt that this comment from H. Montgomery Hyde went to the heart of Wilde’s character: “Oscar was no tragedian. He was a superb comedian of his century, one of whom misfortune, disgrace, imprisonment were external and traumatic. His gaiety of soul was invulnerable.”

The second half of the evening was Gerard’s rendition of The Ballad of Reading Gaol with a moving score by Simon Slater. The ballad form reinforces the strict musical and poetic metres and, as Gareth and Gerard say: “We hope that it will bring a new dimension to the performance.”

The Rye Arts Festival should be congratulated for their diverse events this week: many moving, many funny but always thought-provoking.

Image Credits: Kt bruce .

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