The Importance of Being Alfred

Glasgay! production of Louise Welsh’s “The Importance of Being Alfred” in 2006

by Louise Welsh

The Arches, Glasgow 31 October – 5 November 2006

Directed by Liz Carruthers
Production Design by Lauren Brown

Set towards the end of the First World War, the play finds us in the sitting room of Lord Alfred Douglas, the former lover of Oscar Wilde. Now in his late-40s, the notoriously changeable Douglas (a young homosexual, later a convert to Catholicism who, ultimately, recanted his years of violent denunciation of Wilde’s sexuality and art) is caught up in a fascistic brand of British nationalism.

A subscriber to the shrill journal Vigilante, he professes a heartfelt belief that Germans, Jews and homosexuality present deadly threats to Britain’s Empire and its way of life. He has also signed up to the conspiracy theory that German agents have a list of 47,000 British homosexuals whom they are blackmailing in order to undermine the war effort.


Benny Young
James MacKenzie
Richard Conlon