A new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s gothic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray has been announced, with an all-star cast including Russell Tovey and Stephen Fry.
At a time when the performing arts are struggling, 25 theatre venues have partnered together for this exciting digital project adapted by Henry Filloux-Bennett and directed by Tamara Harvey.
Dunkirk star Fionn Whitehead will be playing the title role, supported by Alfred Enoch as Harry Wotton, Joanna Lumley as Lady Narborough, Emma McDonald as Sibyl Vane and Russell Tovey as Basil Hallward with Stephen Fry as the Interviewer.
The production will not be Stephen Fry’s first experience in the world of Oscar Wilde, as he played the Irish poet himself in the 1997 biographical film Wilde. Fry has described Wilde as a “wonderful” man who had opened up the idea of literature to him.
This cast of celebrated performers will be bringing to life a contemporary reimagination of Wilde’s classic novel. Far from the original setting of 19th century London, this adaptation will see Dorian Gray transported into “a profile pic-obsessed, filter-fixated world where online and reality blur”.
?Don’t get me wrong I’m ridiculously excited that we’ve been able to work with such a ridiculously incredible cast, but I’m just as excited that TWENTY-FIVE (!) theatres across the country got together with the collective aim of sharing brand new content with their audiences.? pic.twitter.com/MP8i66VOCN
— Henry F-B (@FillouxPastry) February 19, 2021
In a parallel to the original plot where Dorian Gray makes a wish to never age, this Dorian Gray is an online influencer who makes a deal for his social star to never fade. It is easy to see how the themes of superficiality, beauty and negative influence explored in Wilde’s original text might be adapted for “a world of Instagram, Facebook and dating apps”.
According to GayTimes, the production will “utilise elements found in radio plays, films and documentaries, as well as traditional theatrical techniques.” The production will be available to stream from 16-31 March. Tickets cost £12 and include a link to the show and a copy of the digital programme. Click here for more information.
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