OUR PREVIOUS PRODUCTION
DIVERSIONS & DELIGHTS by John Gay
The Ensemble Theatre Company of New York presents CRAIG DUDLEY as OSCAR WILDE in DIVERSIONS & DELIGHTS by JOHN GAY . Directed by Kevin G Shinnick Original Music by Bobbie Lee Crow III. Incidental music by Frank Scott Halley.
Diversions & Delights is a one man play written by John Gay in which Oscar Wilde is presenting a lecture to a French audience in November, 1899.
For many years the show played to sell out houses throughout the world, starring Vincent Price in a tour deforce performance. Ironically the only city where if failed to find its proper audience was New York, where it played at the Eugene ONeill Theatre in April 1978. It was thought that it was too large a space for such an intimate show.
Since Price's great success, the play has rarely been performed and had not been seen in New York since 1978 until TETCNY's revival. THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY OF NEW YORK was proud to have SOLD OUT most of it's run.
Craig Dudley, who portrays Oscar Wilde, recently returned from a successful season under the direction of Adrian Noble at the Old Globe in San Diego, other New York performances include the productions of Macbeth and Othello (Roundabout Theatre Company), The Miser (Bank Street Theatre), Ursulas Permanent (Kraine Theatre), Misalliance (Equity Library Theatre), the New York Fringe Festival, War and Peace (Symphony Space) and The Seagull (as a Guest Artist at Columbia University)He has also been seen throughout the United States in regional theatre productions such as Hamlet, A Tale of Two Cities, The French Lieutenants Woman, An Inspector Calls, The Hasty Heart, Cyrano de Bergerac, Racing Demon, Amadeus, Dial M for Murder, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Crown of Kings, Miracle, Twelfth Night, Noises Off, and the North American Premier of The Woman, as well as several productions of Camelot, essaying the role of King Arthur. On television, his credits include Love is a Many Splendored Thing, One Life to Live, Gimme a Break and Exiled. In addition he has co-produced a theatrical documentary about Sir Derek Jacobi, received a scholarship to the American Theatre Wing and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Oscar Wilde, the great Irish author and poet, once the premiere wit of the late nineteenth century, was acclaimed for his plays such as Lady Windemeres Fan and The Importance of Being Ernest. His only published novel The Picture of Dorian Gray was a sensational hit while at the same time controversial.
The married father of two gained even more infamy when he was seen openly accompanying the much younger Lord Alfred Bruce Bosie Douglas much to the consternation of Lord Alfreds father John Douglas, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry. Lord Alfred, who, after many attempts of both physical confrontations and innuendo about the pairs un-manly goings on, finally left a calling card accusing Wilde of Posing as a Somdomite (sic). This led to a trial of libel, which resulted in Wilde not only losing his case, but being found guilty of Gross Indecency, and sentenced to two years of hard labor.
Wilde suffered great physical and psychological injuries, with his wealth wiped out by the trials, his wife divorcing him and forbidding him from ever having any contact with his two beloved sons again, his beloved mother dying while he was incarcerated, and all the abuse led to a nervous disorder as well as an injury to his ear which pained him the rest of his life. When released from prison, he wrote but one more work, the poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol which was published with his prisoner ID number C.3.3 as author. An exile, forced to leave England upon his release in May of 1897 found himself unable to write anymore.
Abandoned by most of his friends and addicted to Absinthe, a highly alcoholic drink, Wilde returned to the lecture circuit, where he had earlier achieved his first real successes.
Wilde died on November 30, 1900 of cerebral meningitis; his tomb just outside of Paris was paid for by his one true friend, Robbie Ross.
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