Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Judas Kiss

Back in August when the Theatre Royal Brighton's Autumn programme was released one of the first plays to catch my eye was The Judas Kiss, partly because it will be the first time I'll have seen Rupert Everett on stage, in fact I believe this will be his Brighton debut although please do let me know if I've got that wrong.

However the main attraction for me is the fact that the play is about Oscar Wilde, who has always been one of my favourite playwrights, ever since I saw the film version of the Importance of Being Earnest starring Michael Redgrave. The Judas Kiss depicts Wilde relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas also known as Bosie. The play takes place during two pivotal moments in Wilde's later years - the eve of his arrest and a night after his release from two year's imprisonment.

While I am a fan of Wilde and am obviously a fan of Brighton too, I hadn't realised that Douglas connects the two... Bosie and his sister Edith used to spend their summer holidays in their father's flat on Oriental Place. The children were often sent off to amuse themselves on the Pier while their father enjoyed a cigar in the Metropole hotel. In later years Wilde & Bosie regularly visited Brighton, staying at the Royal Albion or The Grand hotel. Although on one occasion the pair crashed their horse-drawn carriage into the railings at Regency Square, after which Wilde assured the papers that it was 'an accident of no importance' (As ever the Encyclopedia to Brighton by Rose Collis was very useful here!)

I doubt the crash scene will be included but knowing that Wilde and Bosie may well have visited the theatre during one of their visits will add to the atmosphere when I go to see the play in a couple of weeks time. So far the play has been getting rave reviews and it'll be on at the West End in January so now's your chance to get ahead of the game! See you there...


The Judas Kiss will be on at the Theatre Royal Brighton from 5th - 10th November, tickets from £19.

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