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Article date - 22 June 2017
'Wilde Without the Boy &The Ballard of Reading Gaol', directed by Gareth Armstrong with music from Simon Slater, is a dramatisation of 'De Profundis', the letter Oscar Wilde wrote in 1897 to his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, from his cell in Reading Gaol during his imprisonment for 'acts of gross indecency with other males' - which was a criminal offence at the time.
The Ballad Of Reading, Wilde’s heart-rending poem, reflects on his two years’ hard labour, and a fellow inmate’s hanging; an unflinching indictment of the Victorian penal system, particularly the death penalty. Its regular rhythms also recall the repetitive harshness of prison life as experienced by Wilde and all other inmates.
Painfully brilliant and passionate, 'Wilde Without the Boy &The Ballard of Reading Gaol' is a glimpse into the bruised, loving soul of one of the greatest geniuses ever to have lived.
The performance will take place at Parr Library at 7:00pm on Friday 30 June as part of St Helens Libraries' Cultural Hubs Arts In Libraries Programme, funded by National Lottery money distributed through Arts Council England.
Tickets for the show, suitable for 13+ years, cost £6.00; £5.00 for library card holders and £3.00 for concessions which can be booked online by visiting www.culturalhubs.eventbrite.co.uk - or by calling into any library in St Helens.