Sydney Theatre Company has announced an extension to the season of the critically acclaimed adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray with new dates added at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in December 2020 and January 2021.
This new interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s only novel is adapted and directed by STC Artistic Director Kip Williams. In this thrillingly ambitious production, Williams collaborates once again with the exceptional Eryn Jean Norvill (Suddenly Last Summer, Romeo and Juliet) who performs every role in the story – 26 characters in total – and worked as dramaturg on this new adaptation.
Multiple live cameras and pre-recorded video allow her to create an audacious cascade of theatrical transformations. The show opened last weekend to critical acclaim and five star reviews.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Eryn Jean Norvill again on this new adaptation of a novel that I’ve been fascinated by for years,” said Williams. “In many ways we are continuing a project that began in 2015 with my production of Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams and that I have developed further on works like Arturo Ui – combining theatre with video elements to dramatise the complex and hidden lives of the characters.”
“Like Dorian’s portrait, locked away in his attic, we all have a secret inner dialogue with ourselves that we conceal from the world. Wilde’s text explores this dialogue through the prism of a Faustian pact, where the pursuit of eternal youth and beauty complicate the relationship with self in ways that feel searingly contemporary.”
“Through Eryn Jean’s spectacular performance and the work of our fabulous creative team, I hope to bring new life to this classic work that’s exploration of narcissism and the cult of the individual is just as relevant, hilarious and insightful today as it was upon its initial release in 1890.“
“The process of making Dorian has been a thrilling and joyous thing,” said Eryn Jean Norvill. “A big part of that for me has been collaborating with Kip’s deft brain and brilliant heart. The other parts have been working alongside the incredible creative team.”
“We have all collectively made something that is wild and generous. This show takes Oscar Wilde’s story of ego and conscience, places it on a contemporary treadmill and turns the dial right up – it will make your heart race.”
Williams first directed Eryn Jean Norvill in Romeo & Juliet, his first play as STC Resident Director in 2013. They went on to work together on a number of productions including, Cyrano de Bergerac (2014) Suddenly Last Summer (2015), All My Sons (2016), Three Sisters (2017) and in 2019, Norvill was dramaturg on Williams’ production of Lord of the Flies.
Wilde’s century-old moral fable, packed with witticisms, is as devilishly wicked today as on its debut. Seeing himself in a dazzling new portrait, an exquisite young man makes a Faustian wish for eternal youth. Dorian Gray throws himself into a life of wanton luxury drifting from the pampered salons of Victorian London to the darkest recesses of the capital, and revelling in the splendour of his beauty which remains forever golden. Meanwhile, the portrait – banished to an attic – becomes more and more grotesque.
“Eryn Jean Norvill dazzles in [this] ambitious, whip-smart production… she is one of the most gifted actors of her generation.” – The Guardian
Director: Kip Williams Featuring: Designer: Marg Horwell Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper Composer & Sound Designer: Clemence Williams Video Designer: David Bergman Dramaturg: Eryn Jean Norvill Production Dramaturg: Paige Rattray Voice and Text Coach: Danielle Roffe Assistant Director: Ian Michael
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Roslyn Packer Theatre, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (Sydney)
Season continues to 9 January 2021
Information and Bookings: www.sydneytheatre.com.au
Image: Eryn Jean Norvill in The Picture of Dorian Gray – photo by Dan Boud
Note: Due to current NSW Health guidelines, all performances in the season will play to 75% capacity