Spread Eagle brings a touch of Wildean wit to Croydon

They are promising a couple of Wilde nights at the Spread Eagle Theatre next month.

OscarOlivier Award nominee Gerard Logan is performing in two one-act plays based on the writings of Oscar Wilde around his imprisonment.

Wilde Without the Boy is a dramatisation of De Profundis, the bitterly passionate letter Wilde wrote to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, from his cell in Reading jail, where he had been imprisoned following a conviction for gross indecency. Wilde Without the Boy is a glimpse into the humbled, bruised, loving soul of one of the greatest geniuses to have lived.

The Ballad of Reading Gaol was written by Wilde after his release, a poem which narrates the execution of Charles Thomas Wooldridge, who was convicted of murdering his wife. The Ballad of Reading Gaol moves from objective story-telling to Wilde’s juxtaposition of the executed man with himself, with the line “Yet each man kills the thing he loves”.

Wilde was separated from his wife and sons after being sentenced to two years’ hard labour.

Wilde suggested the poem be published in Reynold’s Magazine, “because it circulates widely among the criminal classes – to which I now belong – for once I will be read by my peers – a new experience for me”.

  • Logan, who won Best Solo Performer at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival, will be performing these pieces at the Spread Eagle on the High Street on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 of November. Tickets, just £10 each, can be booked here.
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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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2 Responses to Spread Eagle brings a touch of Wildean wit to Croydon

  1. One wonders when Inside Croydon will begin to use the correct name of the pub on the corner of Katharine Street and High Street. As clearly depicted on a number of displays, name boards and signs on the exterior of the building, the pub in question is The Spreadeagle. It is not The Spread Eagle.

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