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Work is the Curse of the Drinking Classes

Town Hall Theatre

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A one-man show about Oscar Wilde by Neil Titley, starring The Moth's Will Govan

 Work Is The Curse Of The Drinking Classes

Neil Titley's play is set in Paris in 1898, as an exiled Oscar Wilde (played by Will Govan) looks back on his extraordinarily colourful life and ruminates on love, fame, family and misfortune with his infamous wit and irreverence in this hilarious but ultimately tragic story.

The play draws on Wilde’s letters, essays and anecdotes to bring this literary genius to life in a 60-minute performance which will appeal as much to those who know little about the man as it will to those who admire his work. Titley balances Wilde’s almost dutiful humour with an unsentimental portrayal of his suffering in Reading Gaol, his bitter perception of man’s inhumanity to man.

This play has delighted audiences in hundreds of venues across the world, including the USA, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Uruguay, Zimbabwe, Bahrain and Ethiopia.

'Funny and melancholic.’ The Evening Standard

Charming and witty.’ The Irish Times


Will Govan grew up in the UK, where he acted in several Shakespeare productions before choosing to study portrait painting at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London. He is an artist and co-founder of The Moth. After a hiatus of seven years, in which he interviewed the likes of Colm Tobin, Sally Rooney and Anne Enright for The Moth magazine, he is returning to his first love, reviving the award-winning Moth Productions Theatre Company to take on the role of Oscar Wilde in this play.


Neil Titley was born in Inverness in Scotland. An actor and writer, he spent his theatrical career concentrating on solo shows. He performed 'Work is the Curse of the Drinking Classes' over 700 times in five continents before retiring in 2017. His play on George Bernard Shaw, 'Shaw’s Corner', was televised in over twenty countries. He is the author of 'The Oscar Wilde World of Gossip: A Subversive Encyclopaedia of Victorian Anecdote.'

Duration: 60 Mins, no interval

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