Record-breaking flop Oscar Wilde to be reborn Above the Stag?Date: 7 February 2012
In 2004, Mike Read’s Oscar Wilde proved to be a musical monstrosity, closing after just one night at the newly re-opened Shaw Theatre.
The show earned space in the record books as the shortest run in West End history, but could now be set to return to the London stage, revived at Victoria's Above the Stag.
Oscar Wilde seemed promising before the first curtain rose, with a well-known cast fronted by Peter Blake alongside Anita Louise Combe and Chris Corcoran. Unfortunately, only five tickets in the 466-seat auditorium were sold for the show's second night, and it was panned by the critics with the papers like the Evening Standard calling it “a musical of exquisite awfulness.”
Although Read lost "a small fortune" on the show, the DJ-turned-reality TV star was happy to be offered a record deal for the show CD. Its largest number, Grief Never Grows Old, reached fourth place in the UK charts after being recorded by various artists.
In hopes of a second chance at success, Read has decided to rework the production for a March debut at Above the Stag, according to reports in the Daily Telegraph.
Previously, Read had taken on my of the show's creative duties, including directing. According to the Telegraph, Read will now take a more hands-off approach, telling the paper: “There will doubtless be people who will say I am mad to be doing this, but I am not producing or directing it this time. I was doing everything last time, including being the PR man, and I shouldn’t have been. That was unwise.”
Oscar Wilde’s 2004 flop was blamed on endless misfortunes; poor critical reception, small box office advance, an unfit venue and poor sound system. Now that the script has been carefully edited and the show has been re-cast perhaps, a show once called “the worst musical ever” in newsprint, can make a comeback.
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