Review of The Picture of Dorian Gray - Darlington Hippodrome
By Andrew Harrison - Arts critic
IF your only experience of Oscar Wilde is The Importance of Being Earnest or Lady Windermere’s Fan then this adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray will introduce you to a much darker side of his work. Opening in the studio, artist Basil Howard, Daniel Goode, is in the middle of creating a painting of his muse, Dorian Gray, Gavin Fowler. He shows it to his friend Lord Henry Wotton, Jonathan Wrather, who declares it the best piece of work Basil has ever produced. Dorian is quickly indoctrinated to Lord Henry’s viewpoint and soon believing that there is no such thing as moral or immoral and all that matters is pleasure with the only thing worth having being youth and beauty.
Daniel Goode provides a physical presence as he realises that he will never produce a better work and that his life is on a downward spiral as his two best friends are now much closer to each other in their hedonistic lifestyle. Jonathan Wrather skilfully takes us on a journey over the 18 years which see him age as he looks for deeper and darker pleasures. Gavin Fowler portrays Dorian perfectly as he remains youthful throughout retaining his beauty as his picture, shown only as a piece of glass, becomes broken and scratched, as he falls into a deeply disturbing state.
The Picture of Dorian Gray runs at Darlington Hippodrome until Saturday 30th March.