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Great actor, but not for this. If we were doing Tennyson or Sir Walter Scott, I could hear his voice, but for this he's a bad choice. It requires, well, a gayer voice (I'm gay, lighten up).
I can't imagine Barrett doing The Importance of Being Earnest, except, perhaps, as Aunt Augusta ("To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.")
The character of Algernon Moncrieff *is* Wilde, and that's the actor you want.
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'... Sweet, there is nothing left to say
But this, that love is never lost,
Keen winter stabs the breasts of May
Whose crimson roses burst his frost,
Will find a harbour in some bay,
And so we may.
And there is nothing left to do
But to kiss once again, and part,
Nay, there is nothing we should rue,
I have my beauty,—you your Art,
Nay, do not start,
One world was not enough for two
Like me and you...'
- Extract from 'Her Voice' by Oscar Wilde, 1881
Some days, when the world is grinding me down, and my own body is failing and I feel my mind is surely soon to follow, I need to read some Oscar Wilde poetry. Today was one of those days.
This is a wonderful collection, full of romance, tragedy, beauty, humour and art. It is beautifully read by Sean Barrett. Stick it in your ears; it only lasts an hour, but what an hour...