A murderous bridegroom, one who isn’t too bright, and an overly enthusiastic butler are among the Oscar Wilde-penned characters that the Theatre Arts Guild is bringing to the Halifax stage this week.

“The absurdity of anything Oscar Wilde does, when people need to say with all seriousness lines they would not believe otherwise, is wonderful,” says Phil Reid.

“There are some absolutely wild lines in it.”

Reid is the director of Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, which opens at the Pond Playhouse tomorrow night.

The play is based on a dark short story by Wilde which was later lightened up somewhat by British playwright Constance Cox.

She adapted the play in the 1950s.

“It is extremely popular with amateur theatre groups in England,” says Reid.

In the tale, the young Lord Arthur Savile is set to get married.

His future mother-in-law — a battle axe of a woman — decides he should have his palm read first to ensure that he is fit for her daughter.

The palm reader is a charlatan, and promptly tells Savile that he will murder someone in the future.

The young man decides he should postpone the wedding until after he fulfills his unsavoury destiny.

“Things, of course, go wrong, but there are lots of wonderful Oscar Wilde lines in the play which were taken from the short story,” Reid says.

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