Sheffield playwright telling the story of Oscar Wilde's wife in one-woman show

Lexi Wolfe said audiences were keen to learn about Oscar Wilde's wife
Lexi Wolfe said audiences were keen to learn about Oscar Wilde's wife
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A Sheffield playwright and author is entertaining and educating audiences about a little-known part of wordsmith Oscar Wilde's life, and a woman forgotten by history.

Lexi Wolfe's Mrs Oscar Wilde, tells the story of the Irish playwright's marriage to Constance Lloyd in a one-woman show which is touring the country.

The story begins when Constance is 16, and documents her engagement and marriage to Oscar and the couple's children.

"It basically traces her story that is often forgotten about," Lexi said.

The show attracts Oscar fans who leave with an education on the man's wife, who was an author in her own right.

The pair married in 1884.

Lexi doesn't believe the marriage - Oscar was gay - was a product of circumstance

"I think when he first met Constance, which is the woman I play, there was a genuine amount of love there," Lexi said.

The idea for the show was sparked when Lexi found out through another play that Oscar had been married.

"I wanted to know a bit more of her story," she said.

A 'gut instinct' told her that Constance's story would make for an interesting production.

It's a feeling, she said, which was echoed by audiences.

"It instantly gets people asking questions," she said.

"It's really pleasing to be able to stimulate that much conversation.

"Especially about a woman who was herself really quite feminist."

Lexi, undertook exhaustive research in putting the show together.

The hardest part of writing it, she said, was making sure she got the chronology correct.

She could then begin to interpret Constance's feelings over the course of the story.

Lexi examined numerous letters Constance wrote to a brother who was overseas.

The show is playing in Headlingley Enterprise and Arts Centre in Leeds tonight, which is followed by dates in Buxton, Birmingham, Bingham, Windsor, Malton, Camden, and Croydon.

She's now used to the terrifying prospect of performing a one-woman show.

Her first foray into that format came with Witch in the Woods.

Lexie's first performance of that show, which she also wrote, was in November 2014.

At first, being the only actor on stage was scary, she said, but her confidence soon 'took off' when she realised she could perform in that context.

"I really enjoy it," she said.

"From the reviews I've been getting, I feel like I have matured as an artist."

Lexi and writing partner Andrew Slade are working on a television series, and a sequel to her 2013 book, Better off Dead, is in the works.

A collection of poetry, The Wolf Stirs, came out in 2014.

"They were a priority when I was first starting to do them, but then I realised over time that I wanted to do more in terms of scripting for both screen and stage," she said.

"The one-woman stuff is something that I didn't particularly see myself doing originally.

"I didn't think I had the confidence."

Now, she's used to the terrifying prospect of performing a one-woman show.

Raised in Sheffield, Lexi attended the Brantwood Independent School for Girls at Kenwood.