Don’t Go into The Cellar Expereince and The Canterville Ghost

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Still from Poet’s film Adieu with Love

A regular post will follow soon.

This week was interrupted by having to travel to Manchester on a work-related trip with a funereal theme – coffins!

It had a flavour of Don’t Go into the Cellar about it, the theatre prodution company that offers Victorian theatre with bite!

Through them I met Oscar Wilde as theatre show host a.k.a. Mr Jonathan Goodwin the director and producer.

They will be back in Cumbria soon with a production of The Canterville Ghost.

An Oscar for you!

 

 

 

The Event: A Rehearsed Reading

Title: Oscar’s People

Date: May 25th

Venue: Club for Acts and Actors, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London

Writer/Director: Neil Titley

Production and Publicity: Vanessa Heron

It was the perfect way to spend Bank Holiday.

Thanks to being a member of The Oscar Wilde Society I had the pleasure of attending this sparkling evening of entertainment  full of wit and laughter along with my friend Mrs Jenia Greenwood, also an actor.

A vibrant cast provided delightful portraits of those who had known Oscar Wilde during his life.

Mr Darcy Sullivan played the painter James Whistler, Mr Robert Duncan the actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Mr Bill Bingham Oscar Wilde, Mr Paddy O’Keefe George Bernard Shaw and Mr Titley the waiter as Mr Martin Nichols was ill.

It was lovely meeting members of The Oscar Wilde Society and members of the cast afterwards in the bar upstairs.

For more about The Oscar Wilde Society see http://oscarwildesociety.co.uk/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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!