Tag Archives: Oscar Wilde


Eryn Jean Norvill in STC’s ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’. Pic Dan Boud

This production amounts to the third in Kip Williams trilogy of productions in which he has so evocatively, so powerfully, used his approach of intricately combining theatre with video elements to dramatise the complex lives of the play’s characters.

In both the other plays in the trilogy, Tennessee Williams ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ and Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The Irresistible Rise Of Arturo Ui’ the audience was treated to the pleasure of watching a cast of talented actors perform.

The tone is very different in ”The Picture of Dorian Gray’. Williams has just one actor, Eryn Jean Norvill, to fill the stage. In a mercurial performance  Norvill plays some 26 roles, and deserved every bit of the standing ovation she went on to receive.

Wilde’s allegorical tale speaks so much about the human condition;, how prone to vanity we human beings are, how deeply we try to hold onto our youth and how  futilely we deny the ageing process and our own mortality. These themes come through with crystal clarity.

How best to describe this production?! I’m choosing to say it is  a very visceral experience. The scenes come across so clearly. Like the scene where the audience witnesses Dorian Gray experiencing the grotesqueness and all encompassing nature of an opium den.

The current season of ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde, adapted and directed by Kip Williams, starring Eryn Jean Norvill, has been extended until Saturday January 9, 2021. With recent changes to Covid 19 regulations the Sydney Theatre Company is now able to fill the Roslyn Packer Theatre to 75% capacity.


Production images by Dan Boud.


Oscar Wilde’s play AN IDEAL HUSBAND premiered in 1895 .This new production, part of the Wilde season by Classic Spring Company was filmed earlier this year at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End.  It transfers excellently from stage to screen.

Directed by Jonathan Church mostly it seems as relevant as if it was written yesterday, with its scheming, plotting and hidden potential scandals of political financial meddling and corruption. It is tautly structured with several complicated plot twists. Other issues Wilde raises include women’s position in society, class divisions and the forgiveness of past errors, and the damage of ruining lives of great value to society because of people’s hypocritical reactions to those acts .Church has a fabulous creative team and a magnificent cast. Great attention is paid to Wilde’s witty aphorisms and sparkling text and there is excellent timing and phrasing from the superb ensemble

It is gloriously designed by Simon Higlett .The sets are ravishing and elegantly subtle especially for those of Sir Robert Chiltern’s house with the burnished gold .The costumes are stunning – exquisitely tailored expensively cut suits for the men and some striking outfitsfor the women.

Continue reading An Ideal Husband : A WILDE CLASSIC REVISITED


Samantha Spiro and Grace Moloney in Lady Windermere’s Fan

LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN is the second of the season of Oscar Wilde plays that Dominic Dromgoole and his new company Classic Spring are bringing to London’s West End , here directed by award-winning writer, actor and director Kathy Burke and starring Jennifer Saunders (among others), filmed at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End.

Wilde’s 1892 play tells the story of young Lady Windermere, who flees her own birthday party because she mistakenly believes her husband is having an affair with Mrs Erlynne, a woman with a scandalous past .The truth is far more complicated than the rumours and Lord Windermere, however misguidedly, is trying to protect his wife from it. The play explores, with real sympathy, the way that shame can be used to derail a woman’s life.one slip, one single mistake can ruin a life. Continue reading LADY WINDERMERE’S FAN: THE LATEST IN SHARMILL FILMS’ OSCAR WILDE SEASON

A Woman of No Importance: Oscar Wilde on Film

Eve Best as Mrs Arbuthnot

A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE was filmed live at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End especially for the cinema screen.   With this revival of A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE Dominic Dromgoole launches two exciting projects in London– his new company Clear Spring and a year long season of Oscar Wilde plays. Continue reading A Woman of No Importance: Oscar Wilde on Film




Gwendolyn Fairfax:- “I always take my diary with me when I go on trains. I need something sensational to read”.

OUTATOWNTHEATRE presents its first production at Chatswood. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is the three act version of Oscar Wilde’s 1895 masterful comedy of British Society and its manners, and is set in 1895 with excellent attention to detail on every costume. Oscar Wilde’s rapid fire entertainment is expertly directed by Allan Walpole.

“The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People”, was first performed on Thursday 14th February 1895, at the St. James’s Theatre in London. The comedy plot concerns Mistaken Identity, Love Triangles, Etiquette, and a somewhat large black leather hand-bag (however this version has a carpet-baggers hand-bag).




“Some love too little, some too long/Some sell, and others buy/Some do the deed with many tears/And some without a sigh/ For each man kills the thing he loves/Yet each man does not die.” – Oscar Wilde: The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Sensitively directed by Iain Sinclair this production by Red Line Productions of David Hare’s play THE JUDAS KISS would have to be one of the best shows on in town at the moment.

This compelling production is part of the Mardi Gras Festival and looks at the tragic fall of the great author Oscar Wilde.

The play was written in 1998 and Neil Armfield directed a landmark version at Belvoir in 1999 and more recently an overseas production starring Rupert Everett as Wilde.

Hare is regarded as one of the great contemporary British playwrights writers and it is a huge pleasure to hear his magnificent use of language and observe the confident, secure construction of his  play.

In the tiny intimate theatre it is as if we are a fly on the wall observing events. Act 1 is set on the 5th of April, 1895, in a room of the Cadogan Hotel in London, the night on which Wilde must decide whether to stay in England, and face imprisonment, or flee.

The Cadogan Hotel, set is plush red velvet curtains, lamps, chairs and tables and crowded with paintings (pick out the Whistlers and St. Sebastian).

After interval, Act 2 is set two years later, on the 3rd December, 1897, after Wilde’s release from prison, in the Villa Guidice at Posillipo, near Naples. This set is minimalist featuring a white backdrop , a chair and a white slab on which Galileo reclines as we enter.

The production features terrific period costumes, designed by Antoinette Barbouttis . Continue reading DAVID HARE’S ‘JUDAS KISS’ @ THE OLD FITZ

The Importance Of Being Earnest @ The Exchange Hotel


Furies Theatre is currently presenting Oscar Wilde’s 1895 masterful comedy of British Society and its manners, set in the frivolous 1920s. Oscar Wilde’s rapid fire entertainment is expertly directed by Chris McKay.

John (Jack/Earnest) Worthing, the play’s protagonist, is a very responsible and respectable young gentleman of excellent means, but leads a double life as Earnest Worthing. Lady Bracknell is Algernon’s domineering blunderbuss of an aunt, and is Gwendolen’s mother. Cecily Cardew, is the eighteen-year-old granddaughter of the late Thomas Cardew, who found baby Jack in a handbag, at the cloak room of Victoria Railway Station (Brighton Line) and then adopted Jack.                     Continue reading The Importance Of Being Earnest @ The Exchange Hotel


John Worthing (Michael Whalley) and Gwendolyn Fairfax (Paige Gardiner) court and spark.
John Worthing (Michael Whalley) and Gwendolyn Fairfax (Paige Gardiner) court and spark.

‘I always take my diary with me when I go on trains.  I need something sensational to read’.

Oscar Wilde’s 1895  play THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST saw one of the wittiest people who ever lived at the height of his powers. It is quite simply a comic masterpiece. The humour is irrepressible, like the writer himself, who even on his deathbed, had the final say, ‘Either the curtains go, or I go’.

Satire was Wilde’s forte, his penchant for mocking the pretentiousness and preciousness of society’s ways. In EARNEST, Wilde has come up with a wonderful caricature of a society woman in the role of Lady Bracknell. Andrew Benson gives a fine comic performance as the good Lady in the current Burley Theatre Company revival, directed by Brandon Hartignago. Hartignago’s choice to have a man play Bracknell is not such an unusual choice, years ago Geoffrey Rush played the part with great success.

Michael Whalley as John Worthing and Kurt Phelan as  Algernon Moncrieff make an entertaining duo as the two young friends/scallywags/scoundrels who both, quite separately, have come up with the strategy of creating out of town people, in John’s case his wayward brother Earnest….Algernon his invalid Uncle Bunbury, whom the visit when the life becomes too ‘curly’ and they need to get away.

As cunning as these two men are, they both have soft spots for the fairer  sex. Paige Gardiner as Gwendolyn Fairfax and Katie McDonald as Cecily Cardew are the very attractive objects of their affection, and in a way they match their male counterparts in their use of feminine wiles.

Rounding out the cast Tamblyn Henderson and Ana Maria Belo showed some nice comic touches in servant/maid roles.

Director Brandon Martignago, who resets the play in the present day, delivers a bright, brassy, fast paced, very playful production. There are some interesting choices; the first scene, set in Algernon’s living room, is played out in front of a stage-wide curtain, in a very small space at the front of the stage, that the actors did well to transverse without doing any damage. For the second scene, in effect the curtain opens, to a great, wide reveal, of the garden in John Worthing’s country manor house. There are some nice touches by set designer Mason Browne, peacock chairs, tufted grass, the back wall is covered with Martinique wallpaper depicting a lush garden scene. Browne also designed the bold, character driven costumes.

My favourite scene? There are too many in this play. It’s like asking what’s my favourite Oscar Wilde quote- have you heard this one?-  ‘I can resist everything except temptation’. Ok…I will go for the scene where Algernon turns up at his friend’s county estate, and the shock on John Worthing’s face, and the ensuing comic chaos that it causes.

Recommended, Brandon Hartignago’s revival of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST plays at the Reginald Theatre at the Seymour Centre until August 3, 2013.