This review was written by Jenny Reeves of Creek FM, about Tea With Oscar Wilde, a 2017 HopFestFringe show.
Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes ~ Oscar Wilde
Would this performance come under that category? As the crowd filled the Fleur de Lis Hall on a very balmy Sunday afternoon the anticipation for this fringe event was very clear. No real idea what to expect was in our minds, but we took our seats with a large portrait of the writer along with a green carnation in a vase greeting all the audience and observing our anticipation and reactions to come.
What followed was certainly no mistake, a half hour performance of snippets of his writings, famous quotes mixed in with extracts from prose and plays. Memories of childhood were returned with a reading of The Selfish Giant and what Wilde event would be complete without The Importance of being Earnest? All of this was punctuated with the story of Oscar Wilde himself, the highs and tragic lows of his own story perfectly blended with the excerpts of his work.
The cast while clearly fresh to the piece worked fantastically well at delivering the mood of each quote and act to the gathered audience who were carried along with ease, time certainly did not drag and all to quickly we realised the conclusion was nearing. Unlike many of this type of performance the blend of work and biography was balanced we were able to enjoy the journey without feeling like students in a lecture hall.
After the performance the cast chatted to the audience and it was clear that everyone was equally impressed and moved by the performance, and rightly so. I do have one small criticism however, I am of the understanding that tea should last at least 45 minutes and I know I would like to see the writer and cast develop this performance further to include other works by Wilde that were missed during this Premiere performance.
But overall a brilliant performance and even if it is not extended I would certainly take Tea with Oscar Wilde again.