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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | February 25, 2020

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Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis at the Powerhouse

Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis at the Powerhouse

| On 14, Apr 2015

In the first adaptation of it’s kind, Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis will brought to life on-stage this month at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

In 1895 one of Britain’s brightest minds and playwrights, Oscar Wilde was at the height of his career when he was jailed for his sexual relationship with a man. It would be during his two-year imprisonment in Reading Gaol, that Wilde would write De Profundis (“from the depths”), a now infamous letter to his former lover and betrayer Lord Alfred Douglas.

This literary work is a classic and is now being preformed by a contemporary theatre for the first time ever this month in a one-man tour-de-force performance by Brian Lucas. Providing a intimate look into Wilde’s jailed state where he was emotionally conflicted, deliberating the philosophy of pleasure and sorrow in his isolated confinement. Wilde wrote these thoughts to the same beautiful and merciless young man who’s selfishness and vindictiveness Oscar blamed his imprisonment on, Alfred Douglas.

Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas (Photo: Getty)

Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas (Photo: Getty)

Now in an exciting collaboration David Fenton and Brian Lucas have produced an adaptation of this letter which is intense and thought provoking to watch. It reflects heavily on the suppression of human rights and the long held discrimination felt by the LGBTQ communities. Which allows for lines to be drawn from Wilde’s context in the nineteenth century with current times and debates still being had about inequality under the law for people with different sexual orientations.

In a time when someone could be jailed for committing homosexual acts, Oscar Wilde defended himself against a prejudice and hypocritical England. Meanwhile in contemporary society, Lucas’ performance reminds us how similar legal restraints still suppress the right to love, who you love, no matter their gender or sex is to this day.

Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis

Brian Lucas in Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis

WARNING: This work contains nudity, sexually explicit material and poetry. For ages 15 +


What: Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis

When: 23 April – 2 May 2015 (Tue – Sat 7:30pm)

Where: Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm

Cost: Full price at $30 and concession at $25

More Information: Visit the Brisbane Powerhouse website for further details and bookings