TO THE END OF THE WORLD Travels with Oscar Wilde
BY RUPERT EVERETT
The Den are huge fans of Rupert’s Everett’s first two memoirs so were eager to read 'To The End of the World - Travels with Oscar Wilde' which documents Everett’s quest to write, direct, star in and produce a film about Oscar Wilde’s last years in exile. The resulting film “The Happy Prince” was released to wonderful reviews in 2018.
Everett is a brilliant writer. This book is a more of a diary as he records the challenging process of taking an embryonic idea to the screen. Trying to fulfil his ambitious dream about Wilde proves to require a bottomless pit of funding, constant compromises on locations, setback after setback, yet, against the odds he pulls it off. As a memoir, Everett is wholly honest about both his strengths and flaws in the process. When at last he is doing what he loves best, acting Wilde’s final moments, his accomplishment is emotional and inspiring “I have finally managed to make myself the complete centre of attention. After trying and failing all my life, here I am, tucked up on the deathbed, an expiring general and a regiment of strange mercenaries waging war on the tiny battlefield of Oscar’s bedroom. It’s my own mad world and it’s electrifying.”.
Everett’s writing is funny, intelligent, crude, sometimes shocking, but above all gives a fascinating insight into his extraordinary world and the interesting people he mixes with. The making of the film takes Everett on a rollercoaster ride through parts of Europe and through the process we witness his highs and lows - there are the inevitable episodes of excessive behaviour which all make for an exciting and entertaining read, but overall it portrays his tenacity to keep going which is inspirational to observe.
Into the mix, Everett recalls being thrown out of Central School of Speech and Drama, famously failing to turn up to dinner with Joan Collins and wonderful acting disappointments. If you are in the mood for a flamboyant, beautifully described, often touching and wonderfully amusing read, then this is the perfect book – sure to cheer up those lockdown evenings.