Based on the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Tragedy of Dorian Gray filmed almost exclusively in black and white explores the personal side of the famous character Wilde created. Surrounded by drugs, alcohol, sex and tragedy the two-hour tale explores the dangers shrouding the gross vanity of Gray’s persona.
The characters are introduced to the audience at an art gallery event for the artist Basil Hallward (Christopher Sherwood). Sherwood’s performance as the eccentric moody artist is captured through various camera angles and enhanced by the choice of filming in black and white. He explains that his art has previously been called “perverted ” by various critics.
Upon asking Dorian Gray (Maximus Polling) to sit for him and paint his portrait. We are being informed that this is not going to be a “normal ” portrait by the descriptions overheard at the gallery about Hallward’s previous paintings. In this particular adaptation, we are left only with our imagination as to how this portrait looked and how it changes over the years.
Sybil Vane (Tara Clark) becomes one in a long line of the tragic victims caught up in Gray’s distorted reality, along with anyone else who has the misfortune of meeting him. Her personal life has fallen apart, her children are estranged from her due to drug and alcohol abuse and as she becomes further entwined into Gray’s twisted life her death sadly becomes almost inevitable.
With his moody good looks and strong presence,Polling is perfectly cast visually in the role of Dorian Gray the vain, egotistical soulless being who drains the life from all those around him to feed his ego. On screen this breathes a new life and dimension into the dangerously charismatic Gray.
Anyone familiar with the famous novel knows how the tragic story ends. The ending in my opinion isn’t the important part of this story it’s the twisted tale of the character’s demise which creates the attraction of Wilde’s novel to me.
Writer and director Ross Dinwiddy’s vision to create a black and white adaptation of Dorian Gray added a twist to the gothic tale. Moving away from the rich luxury often associated with Wilde this version offers a deeper depth into the dark soul traded to the devil for eternal youth.
Please check out the links below for tickets and/or to find out more about Blue Devil Theatre.
ONLINE 28th May – 27th June at The Living Record
Tickets: £9.00 from https://thelivingrecord.com/events/the-tragedy-of-dorian-gray-online/feed