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Pictures of Dorian Gray

“A versatile cast”

Lucy Shaw’s adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s novel takes the form of a mythic journey into what art is, who we are, and fluid perceptions of beauty.

Beautiful young Dorian Gray is seduced by Henry Wotton, who believes that hedonism is a form of art. Beauty is the thing that matters most. Dorian sells his soul and remains ageless, while in the attic his portrait ages into ugliness. It’s a well-known story, one that has become a part of our culture.

Shaw’s adaptation is intriguingly non-linear. It swims with ideas of gender, societal and moral expectations, and the emotional complexity of being human. Tom Littler’s enthralling production is visually pleasing with a creative, mesmerising use of sound. William Reynolds’ set is velvety and dark, making his lighting design a focal point, while the clever use of voice-over allows for a separation of the internal and external worlds of the narrative, as does the constant slow-dancing and delicate movements of the characters.

The cast is impressively versatile. Not only do the actors play multiple roles within the production itself, they’ve also rehearsed several different versions in order for the audience to experience the play with differently gendered characters. Both male and female actors play Dorian and Wotton in different combinations over the run.

In this way, Littler and Shaw’s dynamic interpretation brings a piece of Victorian social commentary into the here and now without losing the direct link to the original.

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Production Details
Production namePictures of Dorian Gray
VenueStephen Joseph Theatre
StartsMay 23, 2019
EndsMay 31, 2019
Running time1hr 30mins
AuthorOscar Wilde
AdaptorLucy Shaw
DirectorTom Littler
Set designerWilliam Reynolds
Costume designerEmily Stuart
Lighting designerWilliam Reynolds
Sound designerMatt Eaton
CastAugustina Seymour, Helen Reuben, Richard Keightley, Stanton Wright
ProducerCreation Theatre, Jermyn Street Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre
VerdictA dream-like take on Oscar Wilde’s novel in which the characters' genders are switched across performances
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