music, dance, theatre and art

Reading Gaol explores oppression, censorship and conformity in our increasingly conservative society

Content by Chris Hislop

London Fringe theatre company Proforca present Reading Gaol, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's final work, at Theatre N16 in July/August.

July 23rd – August 2nd 2018 Monday – Wednesday, 8.30pm (7.30pm from July 30th)

Riding high from the critical success of their show Feel, which recently ran at the King’s Head Theatre, Lion and Unicorn Theatre and successful stints in Hertford and Coventry, the company now return with a challenging new staging of Oscar Wilde’s ballad, remixed with 5 new pieces of writing to tell the stories of 5 men’s oppression, incarceration and hope.

««««“extraordinary (…) hops between being ingeniously witty and soul-wrenchingly moving” The Spy in the Stalls on Feel

In this adaptation, the original text of the ballad is combined with new voices, storytelling and physical theatre to create a much darker, more confrontational, visceral and thought-provoking piece: an exploration of the deprivation of liberty experienced by prisoners at the turn of the Century. The show itself is a series of pieces, written by a diverse team of writers, that elucidate the various different voices and themes in Wilde’s work.

Originally staged by Proforca in 2017, Reading Gaol has now been expanded into the challenging new performance space at Theatre N16, with the show being performed in traverse. This will offer a truly unique take on Oscar Wilde, and an eye-opening contrast to other Oscar Wilde productions that are rarely explored immersively.

Reading Gaol explores oppression, censorship and conformity in our increasingly conservative society, from the grime of Victorian England to the forests of Africa and back.

««««“brilliant – the deep message will make you ask yourself questions” London Theatre Reviews on Feel

Proforca Theatre Company’s mission is to create great theatre performances which challenge, confront and engage audiences. Artistic Director David Brady says: “After receiving critical and audience acclaim for both Feel and Feel/More, we are delighted that our adventure for both of these shows now continues into our new production. All of our work showcases the amazing acting talent from early stage actors, as well as really fierce new writers with a point of view we are pleased to champion. We’re also thrilled to be able to present Reading Gaol in a fantastic new space at Theatre N16, which serves as a busy but brilliant climax to a fantastic six months for the company.”

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