The premise of the show is that Myles Breen – a lifelong fan of the legendary poet, storyteller, playwright and wit – is expecting Oscar Wilde for dinner. It juxtaposes the important events of Wilde’s own life with Breen’s life. The reaction that this icon to gay people, Ireland and literature had on one person’s life, and on society as a whole.
It was a clever and imaginative play – with Breen performing some of Wilde’s legendary writing – ‘The Happy Prince’ being the only Wilde piece that Breen had acted in previously. It is interspersed with his observations about his life and how it relates to Wilde’s. Breen’s gives a bravura performance switching from comedy to tragedy in an instant, while switching between characters and pieces. It was an impressive piece of acting. Not surprising. Having seen him in ‘Language unbecoming a lady’ in the Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick in 2015, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.
The sound and lighting effects were impressive, changing the mood in a flash; or to indicate when Breen was switching character. The set was simple and elegant– appropriate for Monsieur Wilde.
An engaging and entertaining experience and a welcome return for me to the Draiocht. This is a theatre I associate with Limerick, despite its location on the other side of the country – the first time I ever attended it was to see ‘The Unlucky Cabin Boy’ in 2016 – another Limerick production.
‘A Wilde fan’ continues its tour around the country with upcoming shows in Wexford and Greystones in Wicklow next Thursday (which can also serve as another chance for any Dubliner who missed it last night, to take the DART to a very enjoyable evening of theatre.