Yesterday was one of those blustery windy days that just couldn’t quite make up its mind. One moment rays of warm spring sun bathed your face in gold and the next spits of rain forced you indoors. But this meant it was the perfect day for what I had planned: tea with Oscar Wilde.
There is a wonderful cafe/bar in Dublin, called Café en Seine, which is done up in the style of Paris in the 1920s: scantily clad demigods holding up arches, dancing Greek girls balancing lampshades, mirrors galore – faux Art Nouveau at it’s very finest.
It was only suiting that Wonderland Productions chose this Wilde-esque setting to host a very special event: afternoon tea and The Picture of Dorian Gray. As a friend and I were invited to take a seat at a beautifully set table for eight I quickly realised that I would be experiencing this wonderful play up very close and personal, as the actors table was right by my side.
Tea-pot guy brought me pots of my favourite brew, a cup of coffee for my not very Irish friend and plates laden down with delicious hand-cut sandwiches and petite fours filled our bellies as Wilde’s words fulled our imagination.
As the actors walked about the room engaging in witty banter they created a magical world of mystery, one that all attending where a part of. At times Lord Wotton or Dorian Gray would sit next to me and engage in nonverbal banter – a bat of an eyelid, a small smirk, a flirty raise of the eyebrow or a quizzical gaze.
Plates and cups slowly emptied as the story unfolded, a captive, entranced audience turning in their seats to follow the action throughout the room and when the dead body of Dorian Gray finally stood up for his applause, it was clear we had experienced something unique and very special.
“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray