City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Wilde Without the Boy, Assembly Hall, Review

By Imogen Rowe - Posted on 06 August 2016

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Assembly Hall
Gerard Logan
Running time: 
Gary Armstrong (writer)
Gerard Logan

Oscar Wilde wrote two things while serving his two year imprisonment after being convicted of gross indecency. One, published after his release, was ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’; the other, ‘De Profundis’, a 50,000 word letter to his lover, Bosie (Lord Alfred Douglas).

This production, skilfully dramatized by Gareth Armstrong, incorporates both. With a simple set, constructed as his prison cell, Gerard Logan elegantly unfolds the most personal tragedy of Wilde’s fall from grace, while maintaining the most true essence of Wilde’s wit, composure and bravado in the face of public opinion. But this is Wilde at his most vulnerable; using Wilde’s own words, Logan presents a character looking for closure in the face of true tragedy.

The absence of the boy noted in the title is a powerful dynamic; the entire performance is for him and to him, but as with most absentees, Wilde is given nothing in return. The title is not purely a pun, but a comment on Wilde’s hubris, in that he gave too much and received too little.

Logan’s acting talent is as humble as it is superb. Watching him work is like being privy to a wonder of nature and remains with you as if you had just met Oscar Wilde himself. As Wilde put so eloquently, ‘the truth is rarely pure and never simple.’ A true masterpiece of solo performance.

Times: 11am, 6th-29th August
Tickets: £8-£10