Oscar Wilde’s infamous “love letter” De Profundis will, literally, be given new dimension when the classic literary work is performed in a world first contemporary theatre adaptation at the Brisbane Powerhouse in April.
Never before seen on stage, the contemporary theatre adaptation of De Profundis is the brainchild of renowned producer and director and Metro Arts’ CEO David Fenton (Arts and Culture Manager Sydney Olympic Park Authority; Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival Director; Hamlet, Macbeth and Twelfth Night, Bell Shakespeare Company). Like the original work, the theatrical adaptation of De Profundis is sexually uncompromising, audacious and powerful as it explores Wilde’s persecution for being gay, his suffering and transformation in prison.
A one-man tour-de-force, for 70 minutes performer, choreographer and performance maker Brian Lucas (Performance Anxiety, Blaque Bordello, DragQueensland, The Burlesque Hour) matches the emotive and eloquent dialogue of Wilde with his physicality to embrace the complexities of this insightful, yet brutal and touching work. All the while, the innovative multi-media set continues to unfold and evolve as it conjures up his literary world, his past, present and fateful future.
Written in 1897 from Reading Gaol to his lover and betrayer Lord Alfred Douglas, Oscar Wilde’s letter is a complex and contradictory meditation on the nature of suffering and forgiveness. An intimate investigation of a world-class dramatist and shamed celebrity, suffering political imprisonment, censorship and trial by media.
Investigating human rights, their quashing, emergence and acceptance – the theatrical adaptation charts the shift and suffering of discrimination for LGBTQI communities, drawing together the threads of current debates about inequality under the law and reflecting ongoing concerns through the mirror of time; the right to love, who you love, no matter their gender or sex.
Creator and director David Fenton’s desire to create the work began more than a decade ago.
“I first heard of the letter in a documentary and the name was so evocative I thought ‘I must read it!,” he said. “Five years passed and I started my PhD, I needed to read something not about that, so I read De Profundis. I was captivated. I finished it in one sitting, put it down and said ‘there is a show here, I can see it, I can hear it!’”
“It is an important show about human rights, self-forgiveness and the very nature of art! Ten years passed and here we are on the verge of sharing what we know is most important about Wilde, his suffering and his insight into what makes us human.”
Brisbane audiences have the opportunity to be the first in the world to see and experience this rich and dramatic portrayal of this important literary work. Containing nudity and sexually explicit material, De Profundis is suited to a 16+ audience.
￼What: Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, presented by Brisbane Powerhouse and Metro Arts as an Official Sweet Selection
When: 23 April 2015 to 2 May 2015; 22 April (preview)
Time: Tue-Sat, 7.30pm
Where: Brisbane Powerhouse
Tickets: Visy Theatre
Adult, $30; Concession $25 (An additional fee applies to each booking transaction. Single tickets $3 / Multiple tickets $6.)