The Picture of Dorian Gray

Supported by Arts Council England


January – February 2016


Guy Warren-Thomas
John Gorick
Rupert Mason
Helen Keeley


Writers: Merlin Holland & John O’Connor
Director: Peter Craze
Designer: Dora Schweitzer
Costumes: Anett Black
Lighting: Duncan Hands
Sound: Matt Eaton
Photography: Emily Hyland


Trafalgar Studios, London

The Show

Following a 60 date UK tour, this show transferred to Trafalgar Studios in the West End. This new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s only novel was written with his grandson Merlin Holland and timed to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the story’s publication in 1891. Featuring material suppressed from the original manuscript and never before seen on stage, the show was a sell-out success. Set in the decadent world of Victorian London, a beautiful young man becomes infatuated by the exquisite portrait painted of him. He makes a Faustian pact that he will remain forever young while the picture grows old. Combining drawing-room comedy and gothic horror, this was a gripping and hugely entertaining theatrical event.


‘It’s Dorian Gray as Wilde intended.’
The Times
‘There are more quotable lines here than in all of Wilde’s plays put together.’
Daily Express
‘This new adaptation by Wilde’s grandson Merlin Holland no less, restores some lost lines, including poor Basil’s confession, lending a renewed, subtly tragic dimension to a book known for its themes of damnation, decadence and the sickness of one man’s soul.'
Huffington Post
'This fine adaptation deserves to be seen for its own qualities, for the fresh insights it brings to a work we think we know all too well, and for what it tells us of Wilde. It showcases in exemplary fashion the jostling, unstable and ultimately tragic combination of talents and aspirations that comprised Wilde's unique persona.’
British Theatre
'Classics are classics for a reason and this production strips back the myths and returns to the humour, the tragedy and, best of all, the ideas of the novel. I've read the book and seen other adaptations, but this version carried a power new to me and more than a frisson of horror.' 
Broadway World
'This Oscar Wilde fable of the beautiful boy Dorian who keeps his fresh appearance while in the attic his portrait snarls, sneers and withers to monstrosity deserves respect in the revisiting, not least as a cry of pain from the age of homosexual persecution. In this version it gets that respect, because Wilde’s only grandson, Merlin Holland has adapted and dramatized it, consulting unseen manuscripts and crucially reintroducing the more explicit homoeroticism which Wilde and his editors prudently removed.’
Libby Purves, Theatre Cat
‘In Wilde’s own words, “there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about”, and this enthralling adaptation with its sexual innuendos, plentiful gags and humorous cross-dressing should keep audiences buzzing with things to say.'
A Younger Theatre
‘Adapted by Merlin Holland and John O’Connor, it brings together elements from the story first published in Lippincott’s Magazine, as well as the book itself, making for an absolutely fantastic script put onto the stage. Not an event to be missed for all the Wilde enthusiasts of the world’
Entertainment World
‘This is not only a well written adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray but a well-staged and acted one, bringing fresh insight to a much admired book and well-loved author.'
Live Theatre
‘There’s no denying the power that still resides in Wilde’s uncensored words and any excuse to see them on stage should be taken.’ 
City AM
 ‘Through access to the original manuscripts, Holland and O’Connor have produced the version of Dorian Gray that Wilde always intended us to see. This gripping production brings fresh insight to a work that many think they know but few understand.’
London Theatre

European Arts Company


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