The Judas Kiss

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Previewed 9 January 2013, Opened 17 January 2013, Closed 6 April 2013 at the Duke of York's Theatre in London

A major revival of David Hare's play The Judas Kiss in London starring Rupert Everett and Freddie Fox.

Oscar Wilde's dangerous philosophy leads him on a path to destruction. The Judas Kiss describes two pivotal moments on that path: the day Wilde decides to stay in England and face imprisonment, and the night, after his release two years later, when the lover for whom he risked everything betrays him. With a quiet but burning sense of outrage, David Hare presents the consequences of taking an uncompromisingly moral position in a world defined by fear, expedience and conformity.

The cast for The Judas Kiss in London's West End features Rupert Everett as 'Oscar Wilde' and Freddie Fox as 'Lord Alfred Douglas' ('Bosie') along with Alister Cameron as 'Moffatt', Tom Colley as 'Galileo', Ben Hardy as 'Arthur', Cal Macaninch as 'Robbie Ross' and Kirsty Oswald as 'Phoebe' - the entire cast are reprising their roles from the 2012 Hampstead Theatre season (6 September to 13 October 2012). The production is directed by Neil Armfield with set by Dale Ferguson, costumes by Sue Blane, lighting by Rick Fisher and sound by Paul Groothuis. David Hare's West End plays include Plenty, The Breath of Life, Secret Rapture, Amy's View, The Blue Room and Skylight.

"Rupert Everett's remarkable and impressively restrained performance gets to the generous but wilfully self-destructive heart of Wilde. As Bosie, Freddie Fox is petulant and pink-lipped, and he bursts with privilege. He shamelessly parades his gorgeous naked fisherman lover, Galileo, in front of the frail and impotent Wilde, who sees him for what he is and yet will not renounce his love... Everett is in his element delivering Hare's witty Wildean epigrams. And he is brilliant at affecting indifference... When he does give way to his grief, his ravaged face crumpling in tears when he thinks of his children whom he is forbidden to see unless he gives up Bosie, it is a wretchedly moving spectacle." The Mail on Sunday

"Oscar Wilde's martyrdom became mythology, all but making a saint of him. In David Hare's 1998 portrait of the man behind the aesthete's artful mask, we watch as he sacrifices himself on the altar of love, knowing he will be betrayed. The play depicts two pivotal moments in Wilde's downfall: his decision to remain in England for the trial that resulted in his conviction and sentencing to two years' hard labour in prison; and his abandonment by his beloved Bosie, Lord Alfred Douglas, in Italy after his release. It's a subtle, dense but dangerously static piece; yet Neil Armfield's delicate production is as taut and resonant as piano wire, and exquisitely acted." The Times

"David Hare may be too pofaced to grasp the postironic aura that Wilde now has about him, but Rupert Everett, playing him in Neil Armfield's accomplished revival, seems to understand it well enough. Bulked up, powdered and mascared... it is, however, Everett's eyes that make the character come devastatingly alive - they are variously dependent, deluded, despairing and ultimately, in the final scene, as a single spotlight falls upon his face, filled with dread. He has, in Freddie Fox, a worthy leading man. His Bosie is beautiful, but screechy, highly-strung and mad-eyed and with more than a whiff of sulphur about him. Wilde can look upon him only with a weary sense of enslavement. This is a match made in theatrical heaven: Fox proves, once and for all, that there is a lot more to him than drawing-room comedies and an illustrious surname, and Everett, for his part, performs the unperformable in making Wilde finally seem human." The Sunday Telegraph

The Judas Kiss in London at the Duke of York's Theatre previewed from 9 January 2013, opened on 17 January 2013 and closed on 6 April 2013.