They say behind every great man, there’s a remarkable woman, steering, cheering and – if we jump back a little in time – maybe even getting the supper ready.

In the case of Constance Mary Lloyd, getting married to dashing young playwright about town, Oscar Wilde, on May 29th, 1884, saw the Irish barrister’s daughter thrust into the limelight, and straight into  motherhood.

Giving birth to Cyril and Vyvyan within two years of their marriage, Constance and Oscar were sexually estranged soon afterwards.

Which begs the question, when did Constance actually know what she had let herself in for when it came to marrying Oscar Wilde? And how far had she been willing to go to make it work?

These are just two of the questions posed by Thomas Kilroy‘s The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde, which made its debut at Abbey Theatre in 1997, and has rarely been off the stage since. On Saturday, June 30th, the very latest production, by Wexford’s White Feather Theatre Company, will be coming to The Whale, led by the acclaimed actress and drama teacher Olga Conway. Rónán P. Byrne stars as Oscar and Ryan O’Donnell as Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas, with Heather Hadrill directing. in a production that has just enjoyed a sell-out run at the National Opera House.

Prepare to be moved…


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