Part social commentary, part fairy tale, Oscar Wilde's bittersweet tale is as significant today as when it was first published in 1888. It is a classic story of love, compassion and selflessness which will appeal to an audience of all ages.
Wilde’s rich and dramatic portrayal of the human condition is a somewhat fantastical representation of the social divide and abject poverty and that typified Victorian London.
The humour and acerbic wit that characterises so many of Wilde’s novels and plays is coupled with a strong moral message in this short story. It is a message full of hope and the possibility of salvation through personal sacrifice, both physical, as it is experienced by the Happy Prince and emotional, as exemplified by the selfless swallow.
As a talented and widely recognized playwright even in his own time, it’s no surprise that Oscar Wilde still possesses the ability to dazzle audiences with suspense, wit and at times heart breaking prose more than a hundred years since his death. This story is a perfect example of all these.
Oscar Wilde’s rich and dramatic portrayals of the human condition came during the height of the Victorian Era that swept through London in the late 19th century. At a time when all citizens of Britain were finally able to embrace literature the wealthy and educated could only once afford, Wilde wrote many short stories, plays and poems that continue to inspire millions around the world. The one we have chosen is The Happy Prince.
Wilde looks for a way to save the soul in front of the misery of the world. His story of a society that lives in privilege blind to the suffering of the poor confronts us on many levels. In this tale the happy Prince manages to obtain salvation by giving up all that he has to those he feels he has neglected. This work portrays the sadness of social condition but also conveys a moral full of hope.
Part social commentary, part fairy tale, Wilde's bittersweet tale is as significant today as when it was first published in 1888. The classic story of compassion and selflessness will appeal to all ages.
A classic story of great compassion, delicacy and depth needs a voice to match. As one of the most iconic and highly regarded English actors Jeremy Irons never fails to impress. We are extraordinarily honoured to have him as part of our artistic team for this project as narrator.
CV in brief: He trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is now President of its fundraising appeal. He performed a number of plays and supported himself by busking on the streets of Bristol, before appearing on the London stage as John the Baptist opposite David Essex in Godspell. After several appearances on British television, including the children's television series Playaway, and an adaptation of the H.E. Bates novel Love for Lydia in 1977, his film debut came in 1980 in Nijinsky. The role which brought him fame was that of Charles Ryder in the television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited in 1981. Brideshead reunited him with Anthony Andrews, with whom he had appeared in The Pallisers seven years earlier. Also in 1981, he starred in the film adaptation of The French Lieutenant's Woman opposite Meryl Streep. Jeremy Irons won an Oscar for Best Actor in Reversal of Fortune.