Pennington Plays Wilde in West End IndecencyDate: 11 March 1999
Michael Pennington will star in the West End premiere of Moises Kaufman's off-Broadway hit Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde which opens this month at the Gielgud Theatre. Previews begin this Friday, 12 March, with the opening night on Monday, 22 March 1999.
Gross Indecency chronicles the arrest, judgement and sentencing of Oscar Wilde, who spent two years in prison. Weaving together original courtroom transcripts with writings by Wilde and his contemporaries, Gross Indecency takes a new look at the tragic downfall of the celebrated playwright.
The play received its British premiere at Plymouth's Theatre Royal last September. At that point, Corin Redgrave, brother of Vanessa Redgrave, played the title role. Redgrave was due to return for the West End premiere but was drawn away to reprise his role on Broadway as the warden in the National Theatre production of Tennessee Williams' Not About Nightingales.
Michael Pennington takes over as Wilde. Pennington's many stage credits include An Ideal Husband, and the recent Peter Hall season at the Piccadilly where he appeared in The Misanthrope, Major Barbara and Filumena with Dame Judi Dench.
Veteran stage actor Leslie Phillips was due to play 'Carson' alongside Pennington but he has recently had to withdraw because he has shingles. His role will now be performed by William Hoyland who originally played the part in Plymouth. Hoyland has most recently appeared in The Colour of Justice, the dramatisation of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, at the Tricycle Theatre.
Pennington and Hoyland are joined in the cast by Clive Francis, James Aubrey, Nick Waring, Barney Craig, Stephen Noonan, Mason Phillips and Christopher Staines. Gross Indecency is directed by Kaufman and produced in London by Andrew Fell, Leonard Soloway, Chase Mishkin and Steven M Levy in association with the Plymouth Theatre Royal.