It may have been 130 years since Oscar Wilde’s classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published but the interest in never ever seems to dim. Maybe Dorian’s obsession with his beauty never fading so that he agrees to sell his soul is what still resounds with us loudly. Definitely, Dorian pursuing a libertine life of varied amoral experiences while staying young and beautiful; all the while, his portrait ages is a story that is as relatable today as it ever was.
Hence no surprise that there are actually two new adaptions of Wilde’s story that are about to hit the London stage. Well, technically the first production is outside the city in Reading, which Wilde fans will know is where he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life.
The new Reading Rep Theatre is presenting the DORIAN, a world première adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Bruntwood Prize winner Phoebe Eclair-Powell, and RSC Associate Director Owen Horsley.
Dorian follows one man’s descent from beautiful debauchery to epic chaos. But who decides when the party is over? The production starring Andro Cowperthwaite (Dorian), Ché Francis (Henry) and Nat Kennedy (Basil) opens on 19 October and runs until 7 November. The rehearsal photos are taken by Holly Revell.
The setting It’s 1965, the world has changed, and London is swinging. In a studio in Chelsea, a young man is about to have his portrait painted. From there, Dorian’s story of fame, vanity, lust, and corruption takes us on a twisted odyssey through heartbreak, betrayal, and a touch of bloody murder.
Multi-award-winning The Tragedy of Dorian Gray, adapted and directed by Blue Devil’s artistic director Ross Dinwiddy, comes to London after sell-out previews in both Brighton and Hastings Fringe Festivals. This tense and compelling yet darkly humorous reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s classic tale was the winner of the OffFest Award from the Offies at Brighton Fringe 2021.