Reviews

The Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton

Patrick Marley is in top form in this superb production

Actor Patrick Marley appears in style as several late-Victorian ghosts in his semi-dramatised narrative, Wilde at Heart, illustrating the highs and lows of Oscar Wilde’s life.
…meticulously rehearsed, the show is a tour de force…immaculately attired, and speaking exquisitely in the manner of the period (he) gives a revealing insight into the triumphs and tragedy that characterise the flawed genius that Wilde undoubtedly was.
…Mr Marley suavely slips from one character to the next with fascinating gestures and movements, perhaps emulating Wilde’s own style…the entire entertainment was devised by Mr Marley, whose ample study is evident…having the dedication to create this lovingly-crafted presentation and to act it so enthrallingly is highly admirable. We have
glimpses into the heart of Oscar Wilde.

Arthur Cummins

Eye Theatre, Suffolk

Any portrayal of Wilde today is often very much of a stereotype, and we have seen many on stage and screen, but do any of us know what the man was really like? Wilde at Heart, devised by Patrick Marley, gave us this interpretation, which I would like to think came truest to how Wilde was.

Resplendent in velvet jacket and green carnation (he) could so easily have given a clichéd caricature but in fact gave a new insight into Wilde, the man. Underplayed if anything but bringing out the sharp sardonic wit of Wilde with some wonderful nuances, Marley’s marathon performance was riveting and sympathetic.

…(his) rendition of Wilde’s letter to Lord Alfred Douglas was brilliantly played and totally heart-rending…without doubt in my opinion (this) was Oscar Wilde as I would like to think of him.

Frank Sheehan

Iveagh Studios, Bambridge, Ireland

‘Fantastic’, ‘wonderful’ and ‘outstanding performance’ were just a few of the comments from those fortunate enough to catch last Thursday’s production of Wilde at Heart…the play mirrored Wilde’s life – full of drama and controversy and was a master performance…Patrick Marley was exceptional in his interpretation of Wilde himself and in the many illustrious characters which he portrayed in such exquisite detail.
Those who attended Wilde at Heart clearly enjoyed the performance.

Critic unknown

Brewery Arts Centre, Cirencester

The inextricable link between Oscar Wilde’s life and works was exposed and explored in this thought-provoking performance. When not switching effortlessly between the different characters, Patrick Marley made an utterly beguiling Wilde… he perfectly portrayed the shift from decadent raconteur to gaunt prisoner and then fatalistic older man, giving a performance of wonderful feeling and sensitivity.
…There cannot be many playwrights whose lives would make a good play but this masterful performance, as witty and entertaining as one of the great man’s own works, proved Wilde’s own life was just as dramatic as anything he could have written.

James Costly-White

Ilminster Warehouse, Somerset

Actor Patrick Marley brought his own devised piece about the life and works of Oscar Wilde to Ilminster Warehouse on Friday evening. Wilde at Heart is an intelligent and entertaining work: thoughtfully and wittily presented it conjures that delightful mix of acid wit and hedonistic disregard for convention which made Wilde so attractively dangerous a personality.
…Peppered with Wilde’s sharply observed aphorisms, his cutting wit and quotable quotes the evening was a delight…the enjoyment of the evening came largely from Marley’s careful choice of material and his faultless delivery of the work…he didn’t try to be Wilde but gave an impression of the man, and this was the piece’s strength.

Critic unknown

Cliveden Hotel

“All our guests, without exception, thought the evening was highly entertaining, with the story of Wilde’s life performed brilliantly. It was a perfect show for a dinner theatre.”

Julia Hughes, Cliveden Club Manager

Eastbourne Arts Centre

Eastbourne Arts Centre presented the latest in a long line of excellent dramas last Friday when Wilde at Heart was brought to the stage. Actor Patrick Marley, who also devised the play, led the audience through the life, loves and works of Wilde, setting them in contrast by reference to the famous and infamous whose lives touched his.
…From his first appearance on stage – wearing a green carnation as buttonhole, the significance of which was only revealed much later – (his) performance was riveting. His role was complex – by turns narrator, Wilde himself and many of the other colourful characters of the period…he brought Oscar Wilde and his world to life for us in this spellbinding production, which never flagged for a moment and kept our interest throughout.

Annette Kean

Eye Theatre, Suffolk

The audience was privileged to see this outstanding production on the life, loves and works of Oscar Wilde. Devised by Patrick Marley the chequered history of the flamboyant playwright was told with candour, emotion and humour…showing great perspicacity and probing the depths of Wilde’s complex character Marley gave a remarkable performance…a thoroughly entertaining evening.

Janet Chambers

The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham

Why Have we all gone Wild for Wilde?

Oscar Wilde may well seem like some kind of glorious hero, yet this mesmerising play reveals a much darker side to the extraordinary man…in the role, brilliantly played by Patrick Marley…we see him blossom into the elegance and the cut-throat snobbery of English society in the late nineteenth century…the second half begins to show the slow deterioration of his soul – this is where the play really seemed to come into its own…Marley quite literally pours his heart out on stage as the broken and shamed Wilde, with such a mixture of passion, despair and disappointment that students stopped texting and eating Maltesers, an incredible achievement for any actor!

Hannah Green (Birmingham Univ. Students Union.)

Al Madinah Theatre, Beirut

Patrick Marley brought his excellent show Wilde at Heart to Beirut in Oct. 2010, where I had the pleasure of watching it with many of my students from the American University of Beirut. The show presents Wilde’s life from beginning to end, mixing the life and the works in a very clever and entertaining manner. Wilde’s works often mirror his life, and Patrick Marley takes advantage of this, presenting the life sometimes directly and sometimes through the works…the extracts from De Profundis at the end are very moving…well worth seeing.

Christopher Nassaar, Dept of English, The American University of Beirut

Indian High Commmision, Mayfair

When I was asked to cover de Musset & Co’s presentation of Wilde at Heart at a huge Victorian house in South Audley Street I was dubious as to whether I wished to attend…I had seen so many productions about the great writer – I decided to accept the offer – how glad I was!
I was not for a single moment disappointed. Patrick Marley, who had wonderfully but accurately compiled the entertainment, told the story, dazzling us with the tale of the great eccentric, showing his brilliant wit, his overwhelming capacity for ‘enjoying’ life to the full and, in doing so, introduced several anecdotes which he had assembled with fine craftsmanship and which would not have displeased the great Oscar himself.
…This was, without doubt, the most satisfying performance I have seen about Wilde – sensitively and artfully written, splendidly acted, and a touchingly true interpretation of the man…If you find Wilde at Heart playing near you, don’t miss it! You will find your journey thoroughly worthwhile!

Victoria Parris, Plays and Players

The Royal Crescent Club, Bath

“Patrick Marley’s interpretation of the work, life and loves of Wilde’s life was first class. (He) offered a performance which was a tour de force and held the audience enthralled …a real delight.”

Helen Griffith, Club Secretary