Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince takes to the Hong Kong stage from Friday, with the Kwai Tsing Theatre hosting Chung Ying Theatre Company’s Cantonese adaptation of the Irishman’s short story. The tale, one of the first pieces of fiction Wilde produced, was originally published in a children’s collection in 1888, at which time its author was employed as editor of The Woman’s World magazine. The Happy Prince tells the less-than-happy story of a selfless prince (in statue form) whose lead heart breaks following the death of his friend, a lonely swallow. It was once recorded on vinyl, with Bing Crosby cast as the prince and booming narration from Orson Welles … The colossus of American theatre, radio and (in particular) film is said to have reached his full height of six feet at the age of 14. As a young man he took a walking and painting trip through Wilde’s native Ireland and in Dublin passed himself off as a Broadway theatre star. His cinematic masterpiece Citizen Kane has several times been voted the best film ever made. Less well known is his 1973 docudrama, F for Fake , which is based on the biography of Hungarian-born art forger Elmyr de Hory … Details of de Hory’s life are clouded by myth and rumour. Most of the information about him comes from Clifford Irving’s 1969 biography – but Irving was himself a shameless faker who was later jailed on a fraud conviction for his “autobiography” of eccentric entrepreneur Howard Hughes. In later life, de Hory moved to Ibiza, the Spanish island playground choice for so many troubled stars down the years. In the 1950s, it became the second home of the once-swashbuckling Hollywood playboy Errol Flynn … The Australian-born actor, famed primarily for his roles in actionadventure dramas, spent his later years down on his luck after his contract with Warner Brothers had been terminated in 1950. From a suave bon viveur, he quickly transformed into an overweight financial ruin. His last film, before he died of a heart attack later in the year, was a self-produced flop about the Cuban revolution – 1959’s Cuban Rebel Girls. He had visited the country in 1958 and proclaimed his support for the revolutionary efforts of a friend and “drinking partner”, Fidel Castro … The communist firebrand, now 87, became his country’s prime minister in February 1959. He later added “president” to his various titles and remained in both offices until February 2008, when he handed over the reins to his brother, the incumbent Raul, who is a mere 82. The elder Castro has always refuted being a “dictator” but claimed the state must limit the freedom of individuals for their own good. His well-documented differences with the United States have never detracted from his love of one of that country’s greatest novelists; Fidel Castro’s favourite writer is Ernest Hemingway … The 1954 Nobel literature laureate, who was badly wounded as a young man in the first world war and married four times (in addition to having many lovers), wrote extensively about both war and love. This year his legacy was recalled in a New York stage production – The Importance of Being Ernest Hemingway . Set in the Paris of the 20s, it is a homoerotic mash-up of texts from Hemingway and (the title riffing on that of the Irishman’s own play The Importance of Being Earnest ) Oscar Wilde.