Rupert Everett gives the performance of his life
Rupert Everett had critics raving about his performance in Neil Armfield's stunning revival of The Judas Kiss on London's West End in early 2013. The English actor is set to reprise his role of the tortured genius Oscar Wilde once again in 2016 with a turn at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, bringing the enthralling British drama to Canadian shores for the first time.
Written in 1998 by the Laurence Olivier Award-winning playwright David Hare (the Brit writer behind the play Skylight which has recently taken the West End and Broadway by storm), the haunting production chronicles the tumultuous love affair between the Irish Poet Wilde and his spoilt young lover, the consequences of which see Wilde face the darkest years of his life.
What is The Judas Kiss About?
The scene is the Cadogan Hotel in 1895, where Wilde gathers his thoughts after losing a libel suit against the Marquess of Queensbury, the father of his lover Alfred Douglas, aka Boisie. The Marquess, enraged by the couple's recklessly public and, in Victorian society's view, amoral affair, openly insulted the writer and thus a lawsuit ensued. Now the defeated writer struggles with a burden of conscience - flee to France to escape persecution or stay and stand his ground, even when Boisie's love is fickle and inconstant.
Everett plays the role with an unparalleled grace and sensitivity; his Wilde is dignified in the face of unimaginable melancholy, moving even when aware of his own self-destruction in the wake of a love unreturned. So eerily perfect and poignant is his portrayal that it feels that if Wilde were in the room himself.