Compiled by Peter Wylde, Ever Yours, Oscar, according to festival notes, "tells the story of Oscar Wilde's life through his letters, revealing little-known aspects of the man who wrote one of the English language's greatest comedies, The Importance of Being Earnest. At the height of his career, Wilde had two hits playing in London's West End at the same time, but he was soon caught up in a scandal that led to a sensational trial, imprisonment and a tragically early death."
Bedford, who also directs and appears as Lady Bracknell in the Stratford Festival's production of The Importance of Being Earnest, said in a statement, "There are two Oscar Wildes, and this show covers them both. The one before he went to prison, when he was absolutely la crème de la crème of London and Paris, and the one after his terrible downfall. This part of his life was very sad indeed, but something happened to Oscar, something deepened him and made him more humane and less egotistical. It's a case of really awful experiences being turned into a kind of gold for a person’s personal resources."
Running through Aug. 29, Ever Yours, Oscar has a creative team including Katherine Lubienski (design coordinator) and Kevin Fraser (lighting designer).
Bedford studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where his classmates included Peter O'Toole, Albert Finney and Alan Bates. His first Broadway role was in Peter Shaffer's Five Finger Exercise. He has appeared in 17 Broadway productions, and won the 1971 Best Actor Tony Award for Molière's The School for Wives.
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's 2009 season runs until Nov. 1 in Stratford, Ontario. Phone (800) 567-1600 for tickets or visit StratfordFestival.