Acclaimed British Playwright David Hare's The Judas Kiss Comes to Actor's Express
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- The 1998 premiere of <em>The Judas Kiss</em> on London's West End starred Liam Neeson as Oscar Wilde.
Playwright: David Hare (Skylight, The Secret Rapture)
Director: David Crowe
Starring Clifton Guterman and Artistic Director Freddie Ashley
The Judas Kiss is the last in David Hare's trilogy of plays about love and betrayal. Hare hints at but does not focus on Wilde's life as the outrageous and epigrammatic toast of London. He uses the drama of the three trials that began with Wilde's own suit against his decidedly unworthy lover's homophobic father to jump-start his examination of Wilde as a figure of almost biblical nobility. The play's title refers to Judas Iscariot, one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus, who betrayed him with a kiss to identify him and turn him over to the chief priests and elders of Jerusalem.
Hare's play, which he calls "stage poetry," re-imagines what might have happened between Wilde and his current lover, Lord Alfred Doulas, (a.k.a. Bosie), and past lover, Robbie Ross, during two crucial moments of his life -- the first when he is faced with either exile or arrest and the second years after that fateful decision when he has risked betrayal once again by returning to the lover who already betrayed him once.