About the Festival

Now in its inaugural year, Oscariana is a celebration of the birth of one of Ireland's greatest sons. Join us in Dublin at Wilde's childhood home and other locations around the city for this utterly fabulous festival taking place from October 14-16, 2023.

Hear Oscar’s fairytales in the very nursery where he spent his childhood.  Experience the acclaimed guided tour of Oscar Wilde House – the amazing and tragic stories of the Wilde family, in the very rooms where the dramas took place.  See the dark and dangerous 1945 film noir version of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar’s novel that caused a scandal, in the stylish and historic Stella Cinema in Rathmines.  Laugh along with Wilde’s comic genius with the epic, technicolour 1952 version of The Importance of Being Earnest at Smithfield’s Lighthouse Cinema.   See the classic Wildean play The Importance of Being Oscar in a room overlooking Merrion Park and Oscar's iconic statue.

 Oscar’s mother’s famous weekly gatherings of musicians, politicians and poets at One Merrion Square were famous across the 20 years or more the Wildes lives here.  Sample what is was to be at one of these events with our online event – Speranza’s Salon.  This is a look inside the house, where you will be taken on a historic journey and see the artists, musicians and poets of today, performing in the rooms where the salons took place.

Why Oscariana?

Today, Oscar Wilde is most famous across the world for his witty quotes.  In 1894, Oscar’s wife Constance put together a collection of Oscar’s best epigrams.  She mined them from his society plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and his essays.  She called the collection Oscariana.  

  We hope you enjoy our tribute to Oscar (online and in person) with three days of poetry, music, art, storytelling, performance and film.

About Oscar Wilde 

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on October 16, 1854 into an intellectual household. He grew up to become the most celebrated playwright in London during the 1890s. He is also known for his children’s fairytales, The Happy Prince and The Selfish Giant, his novel The Picture Of Dorian Gray, and his comic plays Lady Windemere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest. But he is probably most celebrated today for his dynamic personality, his sensational and tragic life story, and his witty quotes.

At the very height of his fame, Oscar, who was married with two children, started a gay affair with the young aristocrat, Lord Alfred Douglas.  Oscar’s relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas led to the biggest sex scandal of the age.  Oscar was arrested over his homosexuality and put on trial.  In May 1895, he was sentenced to two years hard labour by the British authorities. Lord Alfred escaped prosecution because the authorities said there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to prosecute the aristocrat. When he was released from Reading Gaol after serving the full sentence, Oscar had to change his name and flee to France.  

Oscar Wilde died in Paris in 1900, three years after his release from jail.  He was just 46 years old.