The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London
The Picture Of Dorian Gray  image
Event has ended
This event ended on Saturday 13th of February 2016

£15, £20, £25 and tickets for school groups of 10+ available for £19.50, all from the Trafalgar Studios Box Office and

Venue Information

Trafalgar Studios
14 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY

Nearest Stations

Charing Cross 0.08 miles


Please note: as you will no doubt be aware COVID-19 is leading to many events being cancelled or postponed. Please check with the organisers of any event listed here to confirm it is going ahead as planned.

Sin is a thing which writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.

2016 marks the 125th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s only novel and now The Picture of Dorian Gray has been freshly adapted by Merlin Holland, Wilde’s only grandson, and John O’Connor of European Arts Company.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a story that most people feel they know without ever having read. On its first publication, a storm of protest was unleashed from British critics who described it as ‘a poisonous book’ written ‘for outlawed noblemen and perverted telegraph boys’. Here, Holland and O’Connor have reverted to Wilde’s original manuscript, reinstating some of the key lines that were censored. These sections make more explicit the homoerotic themes of the story and, ‘clarify Basil Hallward’s character, lost in hopeless and helpless adoration of Dorian Gray, and make Dorian’s knowing manipulation of Basil all the more calculated and shocking’ (British Theatre).

Through access to the original manuscript, Holland and O’Connor have produced the version of Dorian Gray that Wilde always intended us to see.

Holland comments, In adapting my grandfather’s only novel for the stage, John O’Connor and I have reintroduced a few of those suppressions from the magazine as well as others from the original manuscript, in order to reflect Oscar’s original intentions. These passages, significant as they are, will be largely unknown to the general public, who read the novel today as published in its book-length version. Unfortunately the fall-out from Dorian Gray was to haunt its author. Despite assuring Oscar Wilde’s posthumous reputation throughout the world, it is a sobering thought that The Picture of Dorian Gray should have contributed, even marginally, to putting my grandfather behind bars 120 years ago.

Set in the decadent world of Victorian London, a beautiful young man - Dorian Gray - becomes infatuated by the exquisite portrait that Basil Hallward has painted of him. He makes a Faustian pact that he will remain forever young while the picture grows old. Dorian Gray is a cultural myth that has become more potent with time and the pressure to stay forever young and beautiful is even more resonant in the 21st century.


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