Ground-breaking, gender-swapping production of Oscar Wilde's A Picture Of Dorian Gray gets its world premier at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre

Pictures of Dorian Gray, Lucy Shaw’s groundbreaking adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Gothic parable, will receive its world premiere at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in May before transferring to London’s Jermyn Street Theatre in June.

By Sue Wilkinson
Saturday, 4th May 2019, 5:39 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th May 2019, 5:51 pm
A Picture of Dorian Gray
A Picture of Dorian Gray

It plays there for five weeks before transferring to Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford where it will run for three weeks in association with Creation Theatre.

In Oscar Wilde’s classic novel, sophisticated, amoral aristocrat Henry Wotton seduces the beautiful Dorian Gray into a life of sin and hedonism in fin-de-siècle London. Dorian sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty – and only his portrait seems to age. But will Dorian’s pact have a price?

Mixing roles and gender, the production will see the actors switch parts for each performance, giving four different casting possibilities over the course of the run.

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The production, which retains all the glittering wit of Wilde’s writing, explores perceptions and preconceptions of gender, the balance of power between artist and art, attitudes to ‘self’ and the relationship between manufactured image and reality.

The ensemble cast comprises Richard Keightley (Of Mice and Men, national tour; Twelfth Night, National Theatre), Helen Reuben (who recently made her debut as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, English Theatre Frankfurt/Deutsches Theater Munich), Augustina Seymour (Twelfth Night, Chichester Festival Theatre, The Crucible, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and tour) and Stanton Wright (The Winter’s Tale, National Theatre, All or Nothing, West End).

Director Tom Littler says: “We’re delighted to partner for the first time with the Stephen Joseph Theatre and with Creation Theatre. Lucy Shaw’s Pictures of Dorian Gray is one of the most brilliant and original adaptations of a novel I’ve ever read. It’s a dazzling exploration of gender, narcissism, of art and how we make it.”

Pictures of Dorian Gray is directed by Tom Littler, with set and lighting design by William Reynolds, costumes design by Emily Stuart, sound design by Matt Eaton and movement by Julia Cave.

Pictures of Dorian Gray can be seen in the McCarthy: the performance schedule is (all dates May):

A: Male Dorian with male Wotton

Thursday May 23, Friday May 24 at 7.45pm; Saturday may 25 at 2.45pm and 7.45pm.

B: Male Dorian with female Wotton

Tuesday May 28 at 7.45pm

C: Female Dorian with male Wotton

Wednesday May 29 at 7.45pm, Thursday May 30 at 1.45pm

D: Female Dorian with female Wotton

Thursday May 30 and Friday May 31 at 7.45pm.

Tickets are priced from £10, and can be booked at the box office on 01723 370541 or via the website: