Students take on challenge of showing dramatic downfall of flamboyant wit


THE DRAMATIC downfall of playwright Oscar Wilde will be re-enacted in Ennis Courthouse tomorrow as part of the Ennis Book Club Festival.

Audience members will take on the role of jurors in the production by students from Trinity College Dublin.

Each member of the audience will be given an evidence file and, as the trials of Wilde unfold, they can consult letters and articles which are referred to during the proceedings.

Enthusiastic rehearsals were yesterday under way in Trinity’s Graduates Memorial Building.

The building is the home of the college’s Philosophical Society, commonly known as The Phil, of which Wilde was a member.

Organiser David Adamson said he was hugely encouraged by the response of students to the production.

“It’s really reassuring that students will queue around the building for something like this, and not just for nightclubs.”

The production is directed by third-year students Marianne Cassidy and Davey Kelleher. Mr Kelleher also takes on the role of Edward Carson.

Carson defended the Marquess of Queensberry, Lord Alfred Douglas’s father, in relation to the original libel charge brought by Wilde.

Ms Cassidy said the text had been adapted from the original transcripts of the proceedings.

“There was quite a bit of editing involved but everything that is said was actually said in the trial,” she said.

Ms Cassidy said the production followed Wilde’s descent from a charming and flamboyant wit to an upset and broken man.

A highlight of the production is the protagonist’s “love that dares not speak its name” soliloquy. The role of Wilde is played by Ian Kinane.

Independent Senator David Norris sent his best wishes to the students.

“I think they’re great to do it. We can really learn from it, we can learn so much,” he said.

“A most remarkable man, Wilde. He was let down terribly by the Trinity establishment, but defended by men like Yeats and Shaw.

“The greatest thing he created was the tragedy of his life. It was such a monstrous injustice.”