Monday, 15 June 2015
Theatre review: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Although not quite as moribund as the inexplicably well-received musical version, Peter Craze's production doesn't really work. An unsurprisingly straightforward page-to-stage adaptation, it never really picks up much steam or identity.
With Helen Keeley as Sybil Vane the only woman in the cast, Jones and Mason are sometimes required to drag up as various elderly duchesses, giving the piece a vaudeville comedy feel that Craze can't reconcile with the darker elements. But what the production does bring out is that this isn't a story about ageing but a morality tale: Wilde imagines that a man's face is a map of how he's behaved in life, and Warren-Thomas' Dorian is girlishly sweet until the story's magical twist. It's only when he doesn't have to face the consequences in the mirror that he turns monster. But maybe it's time people took the hint - if one of the most popular playwrights of all time didn't think this was a play, maybe it isn't.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, adapted by Merlin Holland and John O'Connor, is booking until the 20th of June at the St James Theatre Studio.
Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes including interval.