Wednesday, March 31, 2021

'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde, adapted by Henry Filloux-Bennett

31 March 2021

On Saturday we watched Henry Filloux-Bennett’s online theatre adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, co-produced by The Barn Theatre, Lawrence Batley Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre, Oxford Playhouse and Theatr Clwyd. This inventive example of webcam theatre took a very similar approach to the same team’s production of 'What a Carve Up!' by Jonathan Coe (reviewed here in November 2020). Updating Wilde’s story to the present day, and deliberately setting it during the Coronavirus pandemic, allows the company to include several well-known actors (Stephen Fry, Russell Tovey etc) who only have to appear on the end of a video call. The heavy lifting is done by Fionn Whitehead as Dorian Gray with Joanna Lumley, Emma McDonald and Alfred Enoch (who was also in ‘What a Carve Up!’) who are each filmed in separate locations. Henry Filloux-Bennett’s neat conceit is that Dorian Gray is a vlogger who is offered a filter that will keep his online appearance forever young and beautiful while he ages off-camera. The production is visually impressive and makes the various YouTube and Instagram videos believable. But, where ‘What a Carve Up!’ tried to cram too much into a short drama, making it hard to follow if you were not already familiar with the novel, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ felt a bit short of plot. There’s also a little too much swearing and overpowering background music for me. It’s another interesting example of the developing art of online theatre but didn’t completely hold my attention.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home