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The Importance of Being Oscar
Micheál macLiammóir
Michael Judd
The Importance of Being Oscar is a compelling theatrical tapestry which reveals the wit, triumph and tragedy of Oscar Wilde, in
an explosion of richness, boldness, passion and beauty. This outstandingly skilful tribute, written by Micheál macLiammóir,
includes excerpts from the poetry, letters and dramatic writings of Wilde. The irresistible gaiety of Oscar survives to the curtain
line, assuring the audience of a vivid and memorable evening of theatre.
Michael Judd
Micheál macLiammóir
has lived and worked as an actor mainly in the US and
Ireland. He most recently appeared in Colm McPherson’s
The Seafarer at Capital Repertory Theatre in New York.
Michael began his career in the US appearing off-Broadway
in Grandchild of Kings written and directed by the multiTony Award winning producer and director Harold Prince.
He became part of the acclaimed Irish Repertory Theatre
Company in New York City appearing in many productions,
including Juno & the Paycock, Shadow of a Gunman and
Madame Macadam’s Travelling Theatre. Michael was
delighted to appear in A Couple of Blaguards written by
Frank McCourt, at the Triad Theatre in New York City and
later to join the US national tour.
Other theatre
appearances in New York City include Beckett’s
Catastrophe, Da and The Country Boy. He also appeared in
The Playboy of the Western World with America’s premier
theatre company, the Chicago based Steppenwolf, which
has received both national and international recognition.
co-founded the Gate Theatre, Dublin with Hilton Edwards in
1928. The Gate went on to become a showcase for modern
plays and design with macLiammóir's sets and costume
designs key elements of its success. Micheál’s interest in “his
ill-starred fellow countryman” Oscar Wilde, was of “long
standing” according to Edwards. At his instigation a stone
plaque commemorating the centenary of Wilde’s birth was
placed upon the Dublin House in which the author was born
on the 16th of October 1854.
Nearer home he appeared in Brian Friel’s The Home Place,
with Tom Courtenay at the Gate Theatre, Dublin and on
London’s West End. In Dublin he has also appeared in
Dermot Bolger’s, The Consequences of Lightning and The
Townlands of Brazil, as part of the acclaimed Ballymun
Trilogy, at Axis Arts Centre, and on tour to The National
Theatre, Wroclaw, Poland. Other appearances in Ireland
include Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie, at Bewley’s Café Theatre,
The Green Fool, based on the life of Patrick Kavanagh and
Seán O’Casey’s Cock-a-Doodle-Dandy. He has appeared on
TV in The Flight of the Earls, and Frongoch for TG4 and ITV
Wales; Northanger Abbey for ITV; The Clinic and
Killinaskully, for RTE. Radio includes Ulysses, for WBAI
Radio NYC, and Cobwebs and Chandeliers for RTE Radio 1.
In 1960 Micheál launched his famous one-man show “The
Importance of Being Oscar” at the Dublin Theatre Festival,
under the direction of Hilton Edwards. In 1963 Irish critics
acclaimed the text as “an outstandingly skilful and
memorable tribute from one Irish artist to another” (Irish
Press) and “every bit as Wildeanly witty as Oscar at his best”
(The Irish Times).
Over the next fifteen years they took the show all over the
world, where it was universally received with great
enthusiasm by both audience and press. The magic of Oscar
Wilde together with the sincerity of this tribute to him is still
as fresh and triumphant today as it was when it first
appeared, reaffirming Wilde as a master of English letters
and the greatest wit of his generation. It also presents us with
a portrait of Wilde the man, revealing that even his most
apparently inconsequent utterance held almost invariably
some deeper significance.