Thursday, June 2, 2016

From Another Country to the Judas Kiss, Rupert as Oscar for the Ages

Rupert in Another Country on the stage.

I have always loved Rupert Everett.  Spring 1986, I went to see  Another Country, I was captivated.  I adored his Merchant-Ivory Oxford wardrobe, mannerisms, and inability to heed to advise, ‘Discretion is the better part of valor.’  When Everet set up a clandestine date with another boy and proposed, ‘Shall we get terribly, terribly drunk’ over lunch, I was enthralled.
After they are found out, Colin Firth, his roommate talks with him about the class demensions of what has just happened.   "Watch him turn him," Dad used to say. Watch Rupert turn me, I thought.

Colin Firth was not too bad either.

That was the beginning of a long affection.
He was the perfect cad in Dance with a Stranger.

And ideal comic foil in the Importance of Being Earnest and My Best Friends Wedding.

Firth and Everett together again.

But the role of his lifetime was always to be of Oscar Wilde and his tragicomic witty approach to rejecting bourgeois social norms.

“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all,” noted Wilde.

I wanted to be Rupert.  We all wanted to be Rupert.  As Wilde, he was even grander, framing his life on the precipice of exile, as both an insider and outsider, a writer, and subject of a story whose narrative seemed painfully out of his control. Yet, he seemed resigned to following it wherever it would take him.

Rupert  was born to point out Oscar's words:
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."

For Wilde, there was always something great we could do with our stories if we fully exposed ourselves to all of these feelings, if we lived authentically. 

"Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. Oscar Wilde"

Tuesday, we saw Rupert as Oscar at BAM.

Rupert Everett as Oscar WildeA playwright and wit of prodigious standards, Oscar Wilde is one of the theater world's most romantic yet tragic icons. A man out of time, his scandalous trial for gross indecency abruptly put an end to his theatrical and literary careers, and is the focus of David Hare's (Skylight) The Judas Kiss, which transfers to New York following an acclaimed run on the West End. Stage and screen actor Rupert Everett (My Best Friend's Wedding, The Importance of Being Earnest) plays the lead role with an unparalleled grace and sensitivity. His Wilde is not the colorful socialite of his younger days, but rather a melancholic, wounded figure, drifting inevitably towards his own self-destruction. Neil Armfield, who helmed the West End production, returns to direct. A Play rebornThe Judas Kiss was first performed in London in 1998, where it met with initially middling reviews, with many critics feeling that Liam Neeson was completely miscast in the role of Wilde. This revival has had quite the opposite reception, and has been lavished with praise, with Rupert Everett's Olivier-nominated portrayal of the playwright called "the performance of his career." After stunning London audiences, The Judas Kiss plays a limited in Toronto in May before coming to New York. 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. -   

No comments:

Post a Comment