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Never Give All of the Heart at Kidogo Arthouse

Home > Perth > Performing Arts | Theatre
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Gender-bending as female plays Oscar Wilde down Freo way
Oscar Wilde, Irish, play, theatre, Never Give All of the Heart, Kidogo Arthouse, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, Song For Ireland Productions, Australian-Irish Heritage Association
Fiona Mariah, left, as Bosie and Lucy Eye as Oscar Wilde in Never Give All of the Heart.

Be yourself; everyone else is taken." Never a truer word was spoken by Oscar Wilde and what a self he was. The Irish playwright, novelist, essayist and poet was renowned for his wit and flamboyance and, while many have tried to emulate him, the fact his work remains revered to this day is testament to Wilde as a master craftsman of words.

The world premiere of a play celebrating his life and legacy comes to the Kidogo Arthouse at Fremantle's Bathers Beach from November 2, 3 and 4, highlighting some of Wilde's never-before-revealed personal letters. Never Give All of The Heart has been written, directed and devised by Frank Murphy and explores Wilde's rise to fame, his subsequent downfall and his meetings with prominent artistic figures such as Dame Nelly Melba, WB Yeats and George Bernard Shaw.

"Never Give All of the Heart is a unique evening with Oscar Wilde, the brilliant Irish literary genius of his age, and feted celebrity of the Fin de Sciecle," Frank said. "The legacy of his work and extraordinary wit have been dramatised, along with his tragic downfall and the trial that scandalised a disapproving Puritan society. Newly discovered personal letters and correspondence explore his decline from celebrity to infamy."

But perhaps the best summing up of Wilde comes from English-born Irish actor, dramatist, impresario, writer, poet and painter Michael MacLiammor: "He strutted through the first half of the decade known as the (18)90s and staggered through the second half."

Oscar Wilde, Irish, play, theatre, Never Give All of the Heart, Kidogo Arthouse, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, Song For Ireland Productions, Australian-Irish Heritage Association
Lucy Eyre embodies the role of Oscar Wilde in Never Give All of the Heart.

In a delightful twist, a female is playing the role of Oscar Wilde accomplished actress Lucy Eyre embodies the role, taking the audience through Wilde's life as a young artist and family man adored by his children through to his celebrity status in the literary world where audiences loved and indulged him.

Lucy is currently completing her PhD in performing arts at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, focusing on playwriting and the topic of migration. "It's has been a wonderful experience to step into Wilde's flamboyant world of excess and hedonism," she said. "It's great being back treading the boards, my first passion. I feel at home on stage, having previously played the mother in Arthur Miller's All My Sons for the Graduate Dramatic Society, Mama Rose in Gypsy at Marloo Theatre and many other diverse roles at Perth's leading venues, including Downstairs at the Maj, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and Blue Room Theatre. "

Oscar Wilde, Irish, play, theatre, Never Give All of the Heart, Kidogo Arthouse, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, Song For Ireland Productions, Australian-Irish Heritage Association
Fiona Mariah as Constance, Oscar Wilde's wife, in Never Give All of the Heart.

Joining Lucy in Never Give All of the Heart is well-known Australian and international opera singer Fiona Mariah, making her professional Australian acting debut. She plays numerous roles, including Wilde's wife Constance, his lover Bosie who contributed to his major downfall, Madame Melba and other characters who featured in his flamboyant life.

Writer and director Frank Murphy has juggled twin careers in radio and theatre for many years. Having worked with Radio Telefis Eireann in drama, he also formed a company and was one of the leading lights of Dublin's Project Arts Centre. Trained by the Abby Theatre as a director, he was responsible for the world premiere of Sean O'Casey's Behind the Green Curtains, as well as many diverse productions from Brecht to Gilbert and Sullivan. Since migrating to Perth in 1995, he has committed himself to developing young dramatic talent at Wesley College and is heavily involved in all aspects of theatre life in WA.

Presented by Song For Ireland Productions in association with the Australian-Irish Heritage Association, Never Give All of The Heart plays at 7.30pm, November 2, 3 and 4. Tickets are $25 book at www.trybooking.com/JKRP. Kidogo Arthouse is located at Bathers Beach, Mews Road, Fremantle.

Oscar Wilde, Irish, play, theatre, Never Give All of the Heart, Kidogo Arthouse, Bathers Beach, Fremantle, Song For Ireland Productions, Australian-Irish Heritage Association
Oscar Wilde (Lucy Eyre, right) and wife Constance (Fiona Mariah, left) form part of the narrative of Never Give All of the Heart.
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Why? Oscar Wilde is one of the most fascinating characters of the literary world and this show brings to light never-before-revealed letters from the man.
When: 7.30pm, November 2, 3, 4
Where: Kidogo Arthouse, Bathers Beach, Mews Road, Fremantle
Cost: $25
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