If You're Wilde about Oscar, It's Just the Ticket

Article excerpt

The Judas Kiss (Hampstead Theatre) Verdict: Rupert's Oscar performance RUPERT EVERETT rushes onstage for his first entrance as Oscar Wilde and you think: 'Gosh, dishy Rupert has pulled it off -- he really could be bigboned, high-browed Oscar.' Mr Everett's transformation into the Victorian writer is the chief reason for seeing this production. Sir David Hare's play, while witty and in places interesting, is on the slow side, the second half being unfeasibly static. The first half is set in Wilde's hotel room in London in 1895. His legal fight with the Marquess of Queensberry, father of his lover Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas, is nearing its climax. It opens with some bumping and grinding in an opulently canopied bed. This turns out to be a hotel porter having his way with a maid: a neat reminder that 'everyone is at it'. So much for moral codes. Soon we meet Bosie (Freddie Fox) and Robbie (Cal Macaninch), another boyfriend of Wilde.

Robbie wants Wilde to flee the country and save himself. …