Oscar Wilde lives on in award-winning solo show

Pequot Library will host a live storytelling performance of the hit one-man show Work Is the Curse of the Drinking Classes featuring Johnson Flucker as Oscar Wilde on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Presented by Pequot Library and the Yale Clubs of Lower Fairfield and Eastern Fairfield County, tickets are $30/adults, $20/senior and students.

Work Is the Curse of the Drinking Classes is the award-winning fully staged and costumed solo show based on the life and work of Wilde. Flucker plays the poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and truth-teller who — penniless and near friendless — sits in a Parisian café contemplating his past, present, and prospects for a not-too-promising future.

“In his memorable Oscar Wilde performance, Johnson Flucker has accomplished a double feat: notably TALKING Oscar and BEING Oscar,” said Perry Curtis, emeritus professor of history at Brown University. “Thanks to him, Wilde lives on.”

Known for his biting wit, flamboyant dress, and glittering conversational skill, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. As a spokesman for aestheticism, Wilde tried his hand at various literary genres: He published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new “English Renaissance in Art,” and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death.

Quoting Wilde’s writings extensively, playwright Neil Titley weaves a fascinatingly dramatic personal and intellectual portrait of one of the most remarkable figures of the 19th century. Brimming with Wildean witticisms and anecdotes, Work Is the Curse of the Drinking Classes is at once hilarious and heartbreaking while being completely contemporary in its critique of people, the press, and politics. The play lifts the veil on the man who helped define modern individuality. It shows the aesthete and author at his most sarcastic and tender; resilient and vulnerable; as well as relentlessly critical of his world while being continuously self-effacing. As Wilde wrote and the play demonstrates: “‘Know Thyself’ was written over the portal of the ancient world. Over the portal of the modern world, ‘Be Thyself,’ shall be written.”

For more information, visit pequotlibrary.org, or call 203-259-0346, ext. 115. Follow Pequot Library on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Johnson Flucker as Oscar Wilde

Johnson Flucker as Oscar Wilde

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