wed 12/08/2020

Dave's Oscar moment | reviews, news & interviews

Dave's Oscar moment

Dave's Oscar moment

I had a slightly surreal experience last night, when an actor playing the butler of a future Cabinet minister in Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband announced during the interval that David Cameron had just departed Buckingham Place en route to 10 Downing Street to form the next UK government. It was just one of a few pleasing convergences of art and life of the evening, not least of which was that we were gathered in something called the Churchill Room at the time.

The play, which has several political references that could have been written just before curtain-up, was performed by a group of Oxford students led by actor/ director Krishna Omkar, in a gala performance at Dartmouth House in Mayfair. The historic building, just a stone’s throw from the play’s original setting, is now home to the English-Speaking Union, a charity launched at the end of the First World War with the aim of promoting closer ties between the world’s English-speaking peoples. It has a busy schedule of arts-related events, as well as political debates.

The gala performance was to celebrate 125 years of drama at Oxford, where Wilde himself studied, and which is also the alma mater of a huge number of writers, actors and directors, including Richard Burton, Partick Marber, Hugh Grant, Kate Beckinsale, Thea Sharrock and Rosamund Pike.

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