Could Wilde’s prison become a haven of culture?

Reading Gaol, where the literary giant wrote perhaps his greatest work, could soon be turned into flats – but not if the likes of Judi Dench and Stephen Fry have anything to do with it

17th January, 2021
Could Wilde’s prison become a haven of culture?
Oscar Wilde endured two years of hard labour in Reading Gaol in the mid-1890s: the building is now being sold but there are hopes it can be turned into an arts venue

Oscar Wilde cast a long shadow in his time, and now he is once more in the news. Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh and Stephen Fry have appealed to the British government to prevent the Grade II listed Reading Gaol, where Wilde served two years of hard labour, being sold and possibly turned into flats.

Their idea is that Reading Gaol should be developed as an arts venue with a theatre where Wilde’s plays would be...

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