Desperate to live the truth: An Ideal Husband, Oscar Wilde

It is a strange and fascinating inversion of life by art that, as Oscar Wilde’s own life unravelled towards its final, dark ruin, his dramas became ever lighter and funnier. An Ideal Husband is only capped by The Importance of Being Earnest for glittering wit, engaging humour, and a brilliantly twisting plot which holds our…

“I was made for destruction;” Wilde at Heart, Patrick Marley

The last time I saw a one-man show which an actor had personally researched about the life, times and trials of his lifelong hero, it was Simon Callow’s brilliantly vivid journey Inside Wagner’s Head. Callow made a powerful, emotive case for Wagner’s flawed genius, and the evening was packed with fascinating information: in fact, so…

Lust, silk and strangulation: Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy

Oscar Wilde never finished his play A Florentine Tragedy, an unsettling little story of the attempted seduction of a merchant’s wife by the local prince, and that prince’s death at the hands of her jealous husband, who comes home early in the piece to find them together. Alexander Zemlinsky’s challenging score makes this intense short opera…

Preview: Opera in the City Festival

The Arts are steadily moving east in London. Nicholas Hytner is launching his new 900-seat theatre at Tower Bridge this autumn: it’s been 80 years since London theatre received such a large new forum for performance. Dalston and Hackney are brimming as ever with pop-up arts opportunities, but closer than trendy East London, the City…