The Arts

Stratford Shakespeare Festival 2009 – Peter Wylde’s Ever Yours, Oscar

Stratford Shakespeare Festival 2009 – Peter Wylde’s Ever Yours, Oscar featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron
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Ever Yours, Oscar
Stratford Shakespeare Festival 2009
Compiled by Peter Wylde from the letters of Oscar Wilde
Directed and performed by Brian Bedford
At the Tom Patterson Theatre until Aug 29

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Brian Bedford is the most popular actor at the Stratford Festival, and his new one-man show Ever Yours, Oscar opened to a packed house of adoring fans.

The material is Peter Wylde’s compilation of Oscar Wilde’s letters spanning his lifetime. They show the wit and wisdom of the controversial author from a school boy of 14 to a chastened ex-convict. This show complements The Importance of Being Earnest on the Stratford playbill this season.

Bedford, wearing a suit and tie, stands behind a lectern. He intersperses brief background material for each letter. He reads the letters with an acute sense of Wilde’s ironic touch. So why is the show dull?

It could be that it seems too casual. There is no sense of theatre. Maybe the letters should have been memorized. The show, in short, is mildly amusing, but has the flatness of a lecture while revealing nothing new about Wilde.

Ever Yours, Oscar continues at the Tom Patterson Theatre until Aug. 29.

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