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Oscar Will Never Be Tamed

Oscar Will Never Be Tamed

What: The Judas Kiss
Where: Civic Theatre
When: Wednesday May 19, 1999

NOVOCASTRIANS should not miss the chance to see the next instalment of the Civic Theatre's 1999 COLLECTION, the BELVOIR ST THEATRE COMPANY B production of THE JUDAS KISS. Beginning next Wednesday, May 19, and showing for four performances, until Saturday, May 22, THE JUDAS KISS is a powerhouse drama revolving around Australian actor BILLIE BROWN. Brown's two-hour performance as OSCAR WILDE presents two critical moments in the last two years in the life of Irish dramatist, poet and playwright.

The play opens on the day of Wilde's decision to remain in England and face prison for 'acts of gross indecency', in open defiance of the wishes of the Marquess of Queensbury that Wilde cease his relationship with his son, Lord Alfred Douglas.

Act Two presents Wilde two years after his release from prison with the writer in exile in Naples.

Brown's inspired performance has seen THE JUDAS KISS hailed by critics. The show had more than 100 performances.

'That's a landmark for Company B,' Brown said.

'It has had a couple of shows that have been big hits for them but that was a bit of a landmark.

'I think Hamlet got to 99 but we're now 128, which I think for a straight play it's pretty phenomenal.

'We're used to musicals running a long time but with dramatic plays and straight plays like THE JUDAS KISS we don't expect them to run that long.'

Brown describes the play by DAVID HARE as 'a love letter to a another writer'.

Brown, who has written, acted and performed in his own plays, says he was 'overwhelmed' the first time he read the play.

'It was the quality of the writing,' he said.

'The language was tangible and muscular. I thought this man has created the character in the words and this is a man who loves words and believes in the power of language and ideas.

'He has actually written a love letter to a another writer, a man who has been dead for a hundred years.

'He felt he wanted to defend a professional writer and I just love it for that reason.'

The cast features MALCOLM KENNARD as Lord Alfred Douglas, and Newcastle's GLENN HAZELDINE as Robert Ross, Wilde's literary agent, confidant and former lover.

The play is a fascinating study in human nature, looking closely at ideas of friendship and love.

Brown's performance is captivating and profoundly moving, covering a huge range of emotions, including Wilde's tragic fall from grace, public humiliation, the loss of his children and eventual betrayal by his lover. TE

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