Following a UK tour and run at the St James Theatre, The Trials Of Oscar Wilde will transfer to the West End for a strictly limited four week season at the Trafalgar Studio 2 this autumn.
Penned by the legendary writer’s grandson Merlin Holland alongside John O’Connor, the drama uses Wilde’s actual words spoken in court to examine how less than 100 days after The Importance Of Being Earnest opened when Wilde was reaching his peak of success, the author found himself a common prisoner sentenced to two years hard labour.
This run of the Peter Craze-directed production coincides with Wilde’s 160th birthday when a special birthday gala performance will take place.
Speaking about bringing his grandfather’s tale to life on stage, Holland commented: “Over the years, there have been a number of attempts to tell the story of my grandfather on stage but none of them have really managed to bring alive the drama of Oscar’s courtroom appearances. 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.”
Inspired by Wilde’s persecution for his sexuality, the show will use its West End run to support and raise money for the work of lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall.
The Trials Of Oscar Wilde, featuring a cast including Holby City’s John Gorick, EastEnders’ Rupert Mason and William Kempsell (Running On Empty, Soho Theatre), will play at the intimate venue from 13 October to 8 November.
Running alongside the production in the venue’s larger Trafalgar Studio 1 theatre will be the revival of Ayub Khan Din’s acclaimed comedy East Is East.