The Ballad of C3.3. Oscar Wilde was incarcerated in Reading after being convicted of homosexual offences in 1895 and sentenced to two years’ hard labour. During his imprisonment, he wrote the poem ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ which was published by Leonard Smithers in 1898 under the name C.3.3 which stood for cell block C, landing 3, cell 3. This ensured that Wilde’s name – by then notorious – did not appear on the poem’s front cover. It was not commonly known, until the 7th printing in June 1899, that C.3.3 was actually Wilde.
Set in late-Victorian England, this drama explores the tragic effects of Victorian attitudes to homosexuality, and how it affected politicians and artists. These including Oscar Wilde, his lover Bosie and Bosie’s brother Francis, personal secretary and rumoured lover to Lord Rosebery and son of the Marquis of Queensberry.
Based on interviews with gay Iraqi refugees, ‘Elegy’ is a moving and impassioned cri de coeur exposing the horrific realities of post-liberation Iraq and the UK asylum process. A young man pieces together a personal story; his is a flight from tragedy through a no-man’s land of empty train stations, border crossings and bomb-blasted towns.
A Gentleman of My Own Making is based on the true story of Michael Dillon, born Laura Dillon, who gave herself over to the first gender reassignment surgery, becoming Michael, and changing the world. An inspirational story from the ‘couples Who Changed the World’ season performed and recorded live at the Edinburgh Festival.