The Tragedy of Dorian Gray, Ross Dinwiddy’s acclaimed 1960s-set reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s classic tale, transfers to London next month after its OffFest Award-winning success at this year’s Brighton Fringe. It will run for a strictly limited season at the Drayton Arms Theatre from 19 October to 6 November 2021, with a press night on 21 October. Time to get booking!
This latest transfer marks the return of Blue Devil Productions to the London stage for the first time since their success before the pandemic with Apparatus at the White Bear Theatre and Geminus at Tristan Bates Theatre. The Tragedy of Dorian Gray‘s new dates at Drayton Arms follow the show’s sell-out, in-person previews at both Brighton and Hastings Fringe Festivals, as well as a streamed online version.
In this tense and compelling, yet darkly humorous new version, the action in the famous tale of the ever-youthening Dorian from Oscar Wilde‘s 1890 novella is updated from Victorian England to London in the Swinging Sixties.
It’s 1965, the world has changed, and London is swinging…
In a studio in Chelsea, a young man is about to have his portrait painted. From there, Dorian’s story of fame, vanity, lust and corruption will take audiences on a twisted odyssey through heartbreak, betrayal and a touch of bloody murder.
Like so many other productions, The Tragedy of Dorian Gray had originally been scheduled for 2020. Writer and director Ross Dinwiddy commented:
“This has been a massive undertaking for all involved. But, fortunately, everyone has stayed motivated and committed to the project throughout the most difficult and challenging of years. I couldn’t be prouder of our team. To cap this off with two awards at Brighton Fringe was an honour for all of us. We can’t wait to get on stage at the Drayton Arms Theatre this autumn.”
In London, Maximus Polling reprises his performance in the title role. The cast also features Jordan Louis, Christopher Sherwood, Conor Litten, Chloe Orrock and Heather Alexander. The Tragedy of Dorian Gray is produced by Rich Bright for Blue Devil Productions.
What the critics say
“Excellent. Sticks a grubby fingernail into the canvass and twists into its cruel heart” – Louise Penn, Lou Reviews
“Dark, rich and multi-layered. Definitely one to savour” – Kiefer Williams, North West End
“Breathes new life and dimension into the dangerously charismatic Gray” – Elaine Chapman, Art & Theatre Reviews
“I am used to a high standard from Blue Devil and this is no exception. See it and you won’t be disappointed” – Chris Neville-Smith, Chris on Theatre
About Blue Devil Productions
Blue Devil Productions was founded in 2016 with the core aim of reinterpreting classic works of literature for a modern audience.
The company’s first production, Joe Orton’s The Ruffian on the Stair, played during Brighton Fringe 2017 and gained them a Best Newcomer Award nomination. Apparatus followed in 2018 and had a highly successful run at Brighton Fringe 2018 where it won highly commended in the Best Design for Print Award and was shortlisted for Best New Play.
This was followed by a hugely successful three-week run at London’s White Bear Theatre in London. 2019 saw The Geminus continue Blue Devil’s award nominations, again shortlisted for Best New Play at Brighton Fringe. This was followed by a run at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre in summer 2019.
A photo of us just after receiving the @OffWestEndCom OffFest Award @brightonfringe with Caroline Friedman of @scenesaver who presented the award @BSpiegeltent Photo by @DFphotographyuk #CelebrateFringe #awardwinning pic.twitter.com/zmBNLYo0Ln
— BlueDevilProductions (@BlueDevilTheat) July 19, 2021
After going into deep freeze at the onset of the Covid pandemic, Blue Devil returned to the stage and screen with The Tragedy of Dorian Gray at Brighton and Hastings Fringe Festivals where the show won the inaugural OffFest Award from the Offies and the Best Design for Print Award.
Welsh writer and director Ross Dinwiddy is the co-founder and artistic director of Blue Devil Productions. After directing Ruffian on the Stair, he went on to write and direct both Apparatus and The Geminus, as well as The Tragedy of Dorian Gray. Apparatus was based on Franz Kafka’s 1904 short story about life in a penal colony. The Geminus reinterpreted Joseph Conrad’s 1909 short story The Secret Sharer.
The Tragedy of Dorian Gray runs from 19 October to 6 November 2021 at the Drayton Arms Theatre, 153 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 0LJ, with performances Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, matinees Saturdays at 3pm. Tickets are priced £16 (£14 concessions).