What was it like to be Oscar Wilde’s wife? He’s one of history’s most celebrated gay men, so you might be surprised at the question. But he was married – for fourteen years – to an independently-minded woman named Constance Lloyd; and this one-woman play seeks to redress the balance, telling the tale of their lives together entirely through Constance’s eyes. Through a fictionalised series of letters to her brother Otho, we follow the couple’s romance, parenthood, and ultimate parting – and while Oscar’s electric personality is never present, it’s always felt.
Review by Richard Stamp originally published at the Buxton Fringe in 2016 |
Before I saw this mesmerising play, I’d only vaguely heard of John George Haigh – the 1940’s serial killer who dissolved his victims’ bodies in acid, in the mistaken belief that destroying the corpse would preclude a charge of murder. This well-travelled production, which returns to Brighton Fringe after an absence of five years, certainly fills in the details of the notorious real-life tale. But it’s more than a documentary: it’s an engaging character study, and despite its hideous subject matter it proves deceptively watchable, too.
Review by Richard Stamp originally published at the Brighton Fringe in 2016 |
A torrent of industrial language erupts from somewhere around the corner, and a burly carpenter hauls a window-frame onto the stage. With a hammer in his hand and the f-word never far from his lips, actor-playwright Tom Dussek gets straight down to work – straight into his monologue, straight into his anecdotes, and straight into a fine impersonation of Brian Blessed. What follows is a well-constructed hour of humour and poignancy, and an able riposte to anyone who’s ever caught themselves looking down on the humble working man.
Review by Richard Stamp originally published at the Brighton Fringe in 2013 |