Oscar Wilde - Suffolk Street, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.522 W 000° 07.862
30U E 699086 N 5710299
Quick Description: This green Westminster City Council plaque, to first performances of two of Oscar Wilde's plays, is on the south west side of Suffolk Street at the rear of the Haymarket Theatre.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/7/2014 2:41:29 AM
Waymark Code: WMM7YT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bill&ben
Views: 0

Long Description:

The plaque, located near the stage door, tells us:

Westminster City Council

The first
performances of
'A Woman of No Importance'
19th April 1893
'An Ideal Husband'
3rd January 1895
Oscar Wilde
were presented at this theatre
This plaque was unveiled by
Sir John Gielgud
3rd January 1995

Oscar Wilde Society

The BBC website tells us about Wilde:

Wilde was an Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright, poet and critic, and a celebrity in late 19th century London.

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin on 16 October 1854. His father was a successful surgeon and his mother a writer and literary hostess. Wilde was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford. While at Oxford, Wilde became involved in the aesthetic movement. After he graduated, he moved to London to pursue a literary career.

His output was diverse. A first volume of his poetry was published in 1881 but as well as composing verse, he contributed to publications such as the 'Pall Mall Gazette', wrote fairy stories and published a novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' (1891). His greatest talent was for writing plays, and he produced a string of extremely popular comedies including 'Lady Windermere's Fan' (1892), 'An Ideal Husband (1895)' and 'The Importance of Being Earnest' (1895). 'Salomé' was performed in Paris in 1896.

Drama and tragedy marred Wilde's private life. He married Constance Lloyd in 1884 and they had two sons, but in 1891 Wilde began an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed 'Bosie'. In April 1895, Wilde sued Bosie's father, the Marquis of Queensberry, for libel, after the Marquis has accused him of being homosexual. Wilde lost and, after details of his private life were revealed during the trial, was arrested and tried for gross indecency. He was sentenced to two years of hard labour. While in prison he composed a long letter to Douglas, posthumously published under the title 'De Profundis' . His wife took their children to Switzerland and adopted the name 'Holland'. Wilde was released with his health irrevocably damaged and his reputation ruined. He spent the rest of his life in Europe, publishing 'The Ballad of Reading Gaol' in 1898. He died in Paris on 30 November 1900.

The theatre's website tells us:

A leading light in the London theatre scene, the larger than life Beerbohm Tree attracted glittering, fashionable audiences to his Opening Nights. One of the great actor/managers of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, all who met him fell under his spell. All but for George Bernard Shaw, at the time a critic, who had less than flattering words to impart about his acting prowess.

These were wonderful days at the Haymarket, with audiences littered with the likes of Shaw and Oscar Wilde, swanning through the halls backstage, sparring with Beerbohm Tree, insisting on having cardboard tickets printed just for him.

Two of Wilde’s most famous plays premiered at the Haymarket during this time, ‘A Woman of No Importance’ and ‘An Ideal Husband’, and Wilde, much in attendance, was a lively presence in the Royal Box.

Blue Plaque managing agency: Westminster City Council

Individual Recognized: Oscar Wilde

Physical Address:
Suffolk Street
London, United Kingdom

Web Address: [Web Link]

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