Theatre: Tea with Oscar Wilde

With a form for comments.

PoetSpeak

Venue: The Heron Theatre, Beetham, Cumbria

Date: Friday, 7th April

Wilde would have made a great chat show host and materialises as this in the production I attended by the Birmingham based production company Don’t Go Into the Cellar.

Written by actor-playwright Jonathan Goodwin who plays Wilde, the show uses the same format in the first and second half which includes audience interaction.

Mr Goodwin, sweeping onto the stage  in a green velvet jacket and flowing cloak was every inch the gypsy academic of Arthur Ransome’s description in his bestselling book  Oscar Wilde, a Critical Study.

Sali Graham as music hall legend Marie Lloyd was the perfect guest for Wilde, displaying an earthy warmth in an energetic performance bubbling with humour laced with innuendo.

Her cockney sparrow chatter interspersed wth old music hall favourite songs which she  invited the audience to join in added an…

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Theatre: Tea with Oscar Wilde

Venue: The Heron Theatre, Beetham, Cumbria

Date: Friday, 7th April

Wilde would have made a great chat show host and materialises as this in the production I attended by the Birmingham based production company Don’t Go Into the Cellar.

Written by actor-playwright Jonathan Goodwin who plays Wilde, the show uses the same format in the first and second half which includes audience interaction.

Mr Goodwin, sweeping onto the stage  in a green velvet jacket and flowing cloak was every inch the gypsy academic of Arthur Ransome’s description in his bestselling book  Oscar Wilde, a Critical Study.

Sali Graham as music hall legend Marie Lloyd was the perfect guest for Wilde, displaying an earthy warmth in an energetic performance bubbling with humour laced with innuendo.

Her cockney sparrow chatter interspersed wth old music hall favourite songs which she  invited the audience to join in added an air of insouciance to the evening appropriate to the spirit of the stage host.

It was  unfortunate the songs are so old that the audience  were unable to rouse the atmosphere a notch as they did not know the words.

Nevertheless it all contributed to a sense of relaxation  appropriate to the chat-show setting and engagingly tiny theatre.

In the second half I found myself invited onto the stage to perform simple actions with “Miss Lloyd” which gave a delightful flavour of old music hall fare.

The bite which the company promises was in the adapted stories of Wilde read by Mr Goodwin.  At the end of The Happy Prince I was wiping away tears. The second story he performed was The Nightingale and the Rose.

Wilde’s masterpieces brought home the inequity, vacuous social matching and heartless materialism at the centre of Victorian England and Wilde’s recognition of the need for social change.

It was a charming evening whcih cut through to a darker world beyond the sparkle.

The ending is not to be missed.


 

 

 

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The Kingdom of Women

Jonathan Fryer

The Kingdom of WomenFor most of history and in most of the world, men have ruled the roost. All sorts of explanations have been put forward for that, ranging from men’s physical strength to women’s traditional obligations to bear and raise children. In the post-modern age, with its emphasis on gender equality, such “justifications” for patriarchal systems have been fundamentally challenged. But there have always been a few societies that rejected the norm and developed matriarchal structures and/or matrilineal patterns of inheritance One such ethnicity is the Mosuo people of Yunnan province in south-west China, where a woman is head of the household and decides which male partner (single or plural) she will relate to, on a short- or long-term basis. In the matriarch’s house, ideally, each girl will have a room of her own (so important for independent action and thought, as Virginia Woolf understood!). Not surprisingly Mosuo women have a marked…

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Winter’s Glory Captured by Wilde

Now Rupert Everett’s film about Oscar Wilde The Happy Prince is about to be released, now is surely the time to appreciate Wilde the poet.

Click the link to hear an excerpt of his poem Humanitad on video.  Wilde’s verse perfectly captures the haunting glory of the English winter, specifically in the north of England which is the haunt of the bittern.

The film is an excerpt of Lancaster Film Makers’ Co-op’s short The Genius and the Rebel about how Arthur Ransome came to accept a controversial commission for a book about Wilde proposed by his publisher Martin Secker.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

Wilde Wit Has a North West Bite

See my newsletter for details of an amazing new production Tea with Oscar Wilde which will be in the north west village of Beetham in April.

I am really looking forward to seeing Mr Jonathan Goodwin as Wilde and Miss Sali Graham as Marie Lloyd!

Mr Goodwin has a special feel for the Victorian age and authors who made the age as he has also based his productions around Edgar Allen Poe and Sherlock Holmes among others!

Well, it’s fitting to include the great Variety performer as a character when the celebrated host and protagonist was a poet whose work Arthur Ransome so accurately compared to song!