Upon arriving at the impressive 70 seater Jermyn Street Theatre you are met by a fantastic array of production photographs and the extremely enigmatic designed poster of Pictures of Dorian Gray.
The gothic horror is bought to life in this new production of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The cast of four in turn during different performance nights advertised as a,b,c and d take on each of the roles of all the main characters.
Tonight’s performance was led by the two female cast members Helen Rueben and Augustina Seymour as the roles of Dorian Gray and Henry Wotton. As pictured below in the D production cast photograph of this play, the whole cast schedule can be seen at the bottom of the review. Both ladies gave an extremely strong and fascinating performance.
Their role cast changes didn’t detract from the storyline in any way. The suspension of disbelief was ever present with few gender change references made throughout the performance. Which allows you to concentrate on the depth and intrigue of the storyline.
The dramatic black costumes were extremely well designed for each character. The rich black velvet dress and bolero style jacket adorning Dorian Gray were befitting of the status and wealth of the character. Emily Stuart’s eye for detail with the costume designs is very impressive and adds another depth to this production visually. I am not surprised she has twice won the Offwestend award for best costume.
The stage is dressed by two large weathered mirrors. One reflecting water where the famous portrait is housed of Dorian Gray. However, this takes the form of the reflection of the character as they sit and look at themselves. An interesting twist on art imitating life, in this case, the real actor in performance D.
The stage itself is lit by a selection of hanging lights with are controlled individually and light up each character one at a time as they are the main focus on the stage. Adding another well placed dramatic effect visually.
The highly accomplished ensemble of four all showed a great ability in working together around the stage with ease. Each one I can imagine being able to take each of the four roles and make it their own without any hesitation and be word perfect.
Tom Littler has taken one of literature’s most flamboyant and controversial writers of his generation and added his own twist. The production runs smoothly and I would be as bold to say Oscar Wilde would have enjoyed this version of his novel too.
The production is running from 6th June to 5th July 2019.
Jermyn Street Theatre
16b Jermyn Street
Director- Tom Littler
Set and lighting Designer-William Reynolds
Sound Designer-Matt Eaton
Costume Designer-Emily Stuart
Movement/Assistant Director-Julia Cave
Production Manager-Philip Geller
Stage Manager-Emily Lawes
Assistant Costume Designer-Eleanor Tipler
Production Photography-Samuel Taylor
Set Construction-Top Show
Rehearsal Photographer & Trailer-Anna Urik
Film Trailer-Ricky J Payne.
Lucy Shaw would like to dedicate this play to the memory of Stephen Jeffreys.