Plot: During his sentence in Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde wrote a letter to his lover, agonising over the lack of contact. It is perhaps the greatest love letter ever written, filled with a torrent of accusation, passion and eventually reconciliation.
Didn’t I say in my review of The Year of Magical Thinking that monologues weren’t for me? So what was I doing back at the Lyttelton, this time to see Corin Redgrave reading Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, shouldn’t I have learned my lesson?
I thought that as it was just 50 minutes, surely I can stay awake for that time and I did. Also, after having seen The Importance of Being Earnest which I enjoyed, I wanted to start to get to know Wilde and realised after this reading that I knew little of the man. Without meaning to compare the Redgrave siblings, I much preferred Corin’s monologue because it was played convincingly with such passion. Here was a man whose heart was not only broken but whose spirit was crushed with hard labour and I have to give it to Mr. Redgrave for managing to show us this range of emotions. The audience gave him a warm applause that didn’t seem to want to end that on the 3rd curtain call, Mr. Redgrave let go of the arm of the theatre attendant who was assisting him on stage and gave us one last bow.
De Profundis: 3/5
De Profundis is playing at the Lyttelton, National Theatre on July 1 and 2.
This is it. It’s official. I am absolutely theatre-crazy and I need to be committed soon and commenced on some kind of treatment. But what exactly would do me good? I’d say doses and doses of productions with Simon Russell Beale please! And you know what, I am getting it alright, thanks to the National’s upcoming new season of plays from May to August which will include Harold Pinter’s A Slight Ache starring my dear SRB and Clare Higgins. It will play before Never So Good at the Lyttelton, all tickets only for £10. More performances have also been announced for Major Barbara and it looks like I am going to see it again more than once! YAY!
I thought Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis is quite interesting with Corin Redgrave reviving his NT performance from 2000, it will play before sister Vanessa’s The Year of Magical Thinking also at the Lyttelton. Director Katie Mitchell is back at the National this time on …some trace of her, inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot which she also adapted. It stars Ben Whishaw (Perfume) and Hattie Morahan (Sense & Sensibility) whom Mitchell also directed in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, also at the National.
There are a lot of new productions at the National for this summer but these are the ones I was very keen on seeing so I just booked them. Public booking is not open until 22 April but if you join as an advanced member you can start booking now.
Visit the National’s website here