News: Cast Announced for The Trials of Oscar Wilde

Casting has been announced for the new UK tour of The Trials of Oscar Wilde, which has been co-written by Oscar Wilde’s own grandson, Merlin Holland. John Gorick (Holby City, BBC; The Picture of Dorian Gray, Trafalgar Studios) revives his memorable performance as Oscar Wilde playing opposite Rupert Mason (Eastenders, BBC; The Tempest, RSC) as Edward Carson and the Marquess of Queensbury.

Also joining the cast are Patrick Knox (Macbeth, Orange Tree Theatre; The Canterbury Tales, Nottingham Theatre Royal) as Sir Edward Clarke and Benjamin Darlington (Waiting for Godot, European Arts Company; King John, RSC) as Charles Parker and Alfred Wood.

Using the actual words spoken in court, the production delves into the scandalous events that saw Wilde charged with gross indecency. The audience has a ringside seat at the so called ‘trial of the century’ and can feel what it’s like to be in the company of a flawed genius – as this less than ideal husband is suddenly reduced to a man of no importance.’

This production shows Oscar Wilde fighting for his art as well as his life. Wilde’s grandson commented: “Over the years, there have been a number of attempts to tell the story of my grandfather on stage but none of them has really managed to bring alive the drama of Oscar’s courtroom appearances. Using the actual words from the libel trial, 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. The Trials of Oscar Wilde should be an obligatory part of every young person’s education to teach them the meaning of tolerance and, more than ever in today’s world, about the appalling consequences of blinkered homophobia. This production shows him fighting for his art as well as his life and we get a real sense of Oscar’s intellect at
full stretch – his complexity, wit and deep humanity.”

This national tour of The Trials of Oscar Wilde will help to support the important work of the LGBT charity Stonewall in promoting equality. Although Wilde’s trial and imprisonment was124 years ago, he was only officially pardoned in 2017. However, what happened to Wilde in 1895 is happening to LGBTQIA+ people all over the world today. Stonewall estimates that same-sex relationships are still illegal in 72 countries and in eight of those, they are punishable by death.

The Trials of Oscar Wilde will embark on a UK tour from 26th March until 1st June

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