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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Published Monday 19 August 2013 at 11:50 by Catherine Usher

In an unusual move, creative director Samuel Orange (brother of Take That star Jason, the promotional material shouts) has thrown open the doors of his Greenwich house to host this production, in which the audience moves around the house and into the spacious garden with the actors.

The cast of  The Picture of Dorian Gray: (back row l-r) Mark Laughtone, Louise Larchbourne, Ashlie Walker, Aron Trausti, Anna Dane. (Front row) Harry August, River Hawkins, Samuel Orange and Jonathan Redfern

The cast of The Picture of Dorian Gray: (back row l-r) Mark Laughtone, Louise Larchbourne, Ashlie Walker, Aron Trausti, Anna Dane. (Front row) Harry August, River Hawkins, Samuel Orange and Jonathan Redfern Photo: Sebastian Lister

Any fears that this might be a vanity project are soon quelled. There are many plus points to the production, the primary one being Samuel Orange himself, who inhabits the role of the self-centred, rather jaded Lord Henry Wotton admirably.

Starting off assembled around Dorian’s large bed, this adaptation certainly doesn’t shirk away from intimacy, as a topless Dorian (River Hawkins) reclines among his satin sheets in the opening scene. House servants Mrs Leaf (Louise Larchbourne) and Victor (Mark Laughtone) are also tasked with being hosts, a demanding job that requires staying in character even during the interval.

So preoccupied is the production with being free and easy - guests are encouraged to wander and sit wherever they like - it suffers from not having enough audience management. A little more direction could be subtly structured in and would ensure that key moments are not missed.

Ultimately, it is brave of Orange to invest so much of himself into this production, and the enthusiasm does pay off to a degree. The garden provides an enchanting setting and both Orange and Hawkins are impressive in the leading roles. Yes, it’s rough around the edges and there are times when some cast members stumble over their lines, but for an inaugural show it is certainly passionate, inventive and, most importantly, memorable.

Production information

A Greenwich town house, London, August 3-September 28

Author:
Oscar Wilde
Director:
Samuel Orange
Producer:
the Alchemic Order
Cast includes:
River Hawkins, Samuel Orange, Harry August, Anna Dane, Louise Larchbourne, Mark Laughtone, Jonathan Redfern, Aron Trausti, Ashlie Walker
Running time:
2hrs 30mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15
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