Sunday, October 2

Dorian – Venue 21 C Arts

The Oscar Wilde sensation “The Picture of Dorian Gray” takes to stage once more with King’s College School’s performance of Dorian. This one-hour play uses physical theatre, choreography and some outstanding acting to bring to life one of Oscar Wilde’s darkest tales beautifully.

Dorian Gray (played tremendously by Tom Conroy) finds himself on a journey of love, power and evil when Basil Hallwood (Sebastian Pavin) decides to paint a portrait that will encapsulate Gray’s beauty forever. Little known to artist or subject, a powerful force of evil would make Gray’s wish of staying youthful and beautiful a reality. Egged on by Lord Henry Wotton (Roemer Lips) and the forces of this dark magic, Gray transforms from a naive hopeless romantic to a monster with little regard for love or the lives of others.

The whole production is a treat on the eyes and ears with a chilling soundtrack and a cleaver mix of stage lighting and lanterns. The moment you walk into the theatre you are brought into the ambiance of the piece with Pavin working on his masterpiece under a blue glow with fake candles lining the stage.

Instead of a painting of the actor himself, they have opted to use a chorus of performers to play the art work (Sasha Barinsky, Ella Gallagher, Dean Chaumoo and playing the leads double Hugo Robijns) creating an altogether skin crawling manifestation of the evil… As the play goes on, they all can be seen leaving the frame, as if peeling themselves from the picture to loom over Dorian during his darkest moments, tempting him to sink deeper into the world of sin and pleasure.

Conroy is spectacular in the role Dorian, showing a clear transformation from the sweet boy who wants to impress Henry into the sadistic villain of the tale. Whilst at Gray’s darkest moments he is still able to make the character likeable and charming, and at the character’s climax moment he’s chilling and genuinely appears mentally unstable.

James Murray must also be given an honourable mention for his beautiful violin skills which accompanied the production nicely.

The whole cast work brilliantly together creating a spine tingling and visually fruitful performance, they are all on the younger side and carry the maturity of this story tastefully and professionally.

 I would highly recommend seeing this production whilst in Edinburgh for the fringe and the location is perfectly centred in the middle of the old town just minutes from the castle.

Dorian, plays at The C-Arts venue at the Roman Eagle Lodge until the 21st August daily at 14:10

Tickets can be found at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Dorian%22

Reviewed by: Beth Eltringham

Reviewed: 17th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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