De Profundis wins Leicester Square Theatre’s New Musical Project

Published: 23 March 2014
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Alastair Brookshaw

De Profundis is the winner of the inaugural Leicester Square Theatre New Musical Project competition.

The première of this new British musical which has music and lyrics by Paul Dale Vickers will take place in May and will star Alastair Brookshaw whose credits include Leo Frank in Parade at Southwark Playhouse and A Winter’s Tale at the Landor.

De Profundis is based on the letter from Oscar Wilde to his lover, Bosie, which he penned whilst in Reading jail in 1897.

Paul Dale Vickers has said “I first read De Profundis when I was at drama school over 20 years ago and was immediately drawn to the obvious sense of drama within the letter.

“I created a short ‘non-musical’ version and then left it. When I came back to it, many years later, I realised that it had potential as a sung-through piece of theatre. I was always fascinated by Wilde’s ability to forgive, his intense love for Bosie and how he used writing as a form of therapy.

"For this musical version I let the rhythm of the words themselves dictate the shape of the music and allowed the sentiment to drive the chords and melodies. Much of the lyrical content is taken directly from the letter with some invention required to tie ideas together.

"De Profundis is a piece of musical theatre in the conventional sense; however, I am experimenting with form in terms of structure as the piece is essentially an elaborate soliloquy.”

Katie Pesskin will direct and the musical director will be Michael Riley

De Profundis will play the Leicester Square Theatre from 1 May to 8 June.