Sunday, May 08, 2005

oscar wilde (slight return)

Last October the long-serving DJ and even longer-serving inane twat Mike Read opened his new stage show in London Oscar Wilde: The Musical .

Really, I'm not making it up.

It closed after one night cos it was so rubbish, leaving his wallet and ego severly assaulted. For a man who inflicted himself in that Nicey & Smashy way throughout the 80s, a man who wrote a Cliff Richard musical (titled, wait for it, 'Cliff!'), and also Oh Puck!, an adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream as a musical set to hits of the 80s, it was surely the worst thing that could happen.

Oh no. I'm pleased to share with you a little gem found in The Independent's Pandora column that updates us on the story. (I would link but it's a subscription archive)

You have to sympathise with Mike Read, in his ill-fated quest to become a West End impresario.

Last year, the veteran DJ's Oscar Wilde became the shortest-running musical in British history when it closed after one night, due to poor ticket sales.

Now the cast of the play - which starred Peter Blake in the title role - have called in the lawyers, claiming they are still owed unpaid wages.

"The cast are still pursuing Mike through the courts," says the agent of one. "They were hired for five weeks' work, but haven't been paid for that.

"It's a contractual matter, and they are claiming around £15,000."

Read declined to comment yesterday, but has previously blamed the show's failure on box-office problems at the Shaw Theatre, where it was staged.

Reviewers at the time weren't so sure, though. "In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years' hard labour," wrote one. "A more cruel and unusual punishment has been devised by Mike Read."

My favourite is still The Daily Telegraph's review entitled Wilde suffers again thanks to Mike Read which said it was 'hard to feel anything other than incredulous contempt'.

Go check my blog post from the time for more background info and hilarious review quotes.

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