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Duration 00:12:39

Oscar Wilde’s trial and imprisonment – a short play

This short play explores the trial and imprisonment of Oscar Wilde. In 1895 the celebrated author and playwright was found guilty of gross indecency and sentenced to two years imprisonment, with hard labour. The words are taken directly from records held by The National Archives, particularly the petition that Wilde made to the Home Secretary seeking early release, and letters written about him to the governor of Reading Gaol.

This play was first performed as part of The National Archives’ Victorian Crime night in October 2016 and was subsequently performed as part of ‘Museums Showoff’, ‘OUTing the Past Festival’ and a ‘Queer and the State’ event. Find out here how we brought Oscar Wilde’s words to life.

By Caroline Osborne-James

Cast (in order of appearance):
Narrator: Lucy Fletcher
Oscar Wilde: Gary Thorpe
John Sholto Douglas (Marquess of Queensbury): Kevin Chambers
Lily Wilde: Fleur Soper
Chaplain: Liz Bryant
An Irishwoman: Clarissa Angus
More Adey: Jon Ryder-Oliver

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