In E8, Oscar Wilde and other great Irish stories

Dublin actor Neil O’Shea and James Joyce portrait (supplied pic)

GREAT WRITING in English would be much less than great without the Irish, as actor Neil O’Shea has come to Hackney to show us.

For two weeks he will be taking audiences on a journey through the writings of some of Ireland’s most famous scribblers.

“It will,” he says, “be rather like a standup routine. I sometimes say I have the best scriptwriters you could hope for: Jonathan (Gulliver’s Travels) Swift, Oscar Wilde, WB Yeats, James Joyce…”

The emphasis is on humour, in the form of Oscar Wilde’s creations such as Lady Bracknell, from The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar himself in his description of his trip to the US, George Bernard Shaw’s view of the Irish character and imagination, and Swift’s Resolutions When I Come to Be Old.

O’Shea trained at the Dublin acting school of Ireland’s national Abbey Theatre (in a way it was co-founded by Yeats) and acted there.

Waiting in the metaphorical wings is a second show of O’Shea’s called Is It Love..? , which includes Shakespeare, Dickens and other non-Irish writers.

James Joyce (free pic supplied by Wikipedia)
Joyce (supplied pic)

He’d like to stage that in No 1 City, too. He told Loving Dalston: “My hope is to do more acting in London. not just in the one-man show. I don’t have an agent yet, nor do casting people know me.

“I’m hoping that I can start my London career in my later years.”

As Wilde said (where would we be without the net?), “The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything”.

Hamish Scott 241114

* Neil  O’Shea presents An Evening with Great Irish Writers at the Ophelia Theatre, 574 Kingsland Road, Dalston E8 4AH, Tues 2 Dec 2014-Sat 13 Dec 2014 (except Sun and Mon) at 7.30pm; £12,  £10, box office 020 7923 9518. No lift to theatre, in basement below floor of the bar.

* The contest to win two tickets has been won by Anja Beinroth, who works in Dalston. No more entries will be opened.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

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One thought on “In E8, Oscar Wilde and other great Irish stories

  1. Thank you, Loving Dalston, for helping us to see this show. An enjoyable romp through the greats of Irish literature.

    Very impressed by the way Neil O’Shea manages to embody the different characters.

    On the whole, more literary and less funny than I expected, but very enjoyable and well-performed. Bit like a Condensed Shakespeare but for Irish writing.

    Don’t miss this if you enjoy Irish literature. It will remind you of some you love and some you may have forgotten about. Recommended!

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