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Starring Will Govan and directed by Rebecca O’Connor

 

Set in Paris in 1898, Will Govan plays an exiled Oscar Wilde looking back on his extraordinarily colourful life and ruminating on love, fame, family and misfortune with his infamous wit and irreverence in this hilarious but ultimately tragic story of a life.

The play draws on Wilde’s letters, essays and anecdotes to bring this literary genius to life in a 60-minute performance which will appeal as much to those who know little about the man as it will to those who admire his work.

This play has delighted audiences in hundreds of venues across the world, including the USA, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Uruguay, Zimbabwe, Bahrain and Ethiopia.

‘Titley balances Wilde’s almost dutiful humour with an unsentimental portrayal of his suffering in Reading Gaol, his bitter perception of man’s inhumanity to man. He also captures his character’s dignity in despair and the comedy makes the heartbreak of Wilde’s life even more poignant. It is a most moving effect.’ Evening Standard

‘Funny and melancholic.’ The Times

‘Charming and witty.’ Irish Times

‘Fine and genuinely moving.’ Festival Times, Edinburgh

‘I found myself finding out more about Wilde than any lecturer in an entire semester of school could teach. A highly intelligent piece of writing that I would gladly recommend.’ Ontario Arts Review

Will Govan grew up in the UK, where he acted in several Shakespeare productions before choosing to study portrait painting at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London. He is an artist and co-founder of The Moth. After a hiatus of seven years, in which he interviewed the likes of Colm Tóibín, Sally Rooney and Anne Enright for The Moth magazine, he is returning to his first love, reviving the award-winning Moth Productions theatre company to take on the role of Oscar Wilde in Work is the Curse of the Drinking Classes.

Neil Titley was born in Inverness in Scotland. An actor and writer, he spent his theatrical career concentrating on solo shows. He performed Work is the Curse of the Drinking Classes over 700 times in five continents before retiring in 2017. His play on George Bernard Shaw, Shaw’s Corner, was televised in over twenty countries. He is the author of The Oscar Wilde World of Gossip: A Subversive Encycolpaedia of Victorian Anecdote.

Rebecca O’Connor is an author and co-founder of The Moth. She was a member of the QUB Drama Society, where she produced several plays. Her work has been shortlisted for the Irish Times Strong Shine Award and the Kate O’Brien Award, and she was awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize by Poetry Review. Her debut novel He Is Mine and I Have No Other was published in 2018: ‘A remarkable account of adolescent love in the 1990s, backlit by the true story of 35 children who burned to death in a Cavan orphanage 50 years earlier’ (Critics Choice, Irish Independent).

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