Dimensions: Overall: 217 × 145mm
Department: Social History
Accession Number: 1992.130a
This programme for Sheffield's Lyceum Theatre details a performance of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest", a touring production from the Old Vic Company. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was a famous poet and playwright whose works are still performed today.
Wilde unsuccessfully tried to prosecute the Marquess of Queensbury for libel, who had accused him of homosexuality at a time when this was illegal. Wilde dropped the charge when evidence for his homosexuality was detailed, leading to him being prosecuted. He was convicted of gross indecency with men, and sentenced to two years with hard labour in 1895-1897, from which his health never fully recovered.
In 2017, Oscar Wilde was post-humously pardoned for homosexual acts that are no longer considered illegal, along with Alan Turing and many others.