Grandson Disputes Legitimacy of New Oscar Wilde Play


The grandson of famed playwright Oscar Wilde claims a new play, Constance, set to open on Friday at London’s King’s Head Theater is not Wilde’s “final play” as the theater company boasts, the Guardian reports. “It is dishonest to foist this on the public,” Merlin Holland says, calling the play “a pretty appalling piece of work” that is “marginally altered in order to sound a bit like Oscar Wilde.” The problem is that, although Wilde sketched the plot for Constance, it was actually written by several other playwrights before it became the play that is about to open.

“I’m completely comfortable calling it a play by Oscar Wilde,” says Adam Spreadbury-Maher, the artistic director of the theater. He adds that the production is careful to credit the lineage of the play and the various hands it passed through. But he isn’t doing himself any favors when he says the production is similar to how Damien Hirst “doesn’t paint all his paintings.” Probably not the best analogy to use when trying to convince people to pay good money to see Oscar Wilde’s last play. [via ArtsBeat]