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Theatre: Look who’s in The Picture of Dorian Gray – streaming this March!

Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley head up a starry cast for a new online production of Oscar Wilde's censored Victorian novel.

What a line-up! Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry, Russell Tovey, Alfred Enock and Emma Mcdonald join the previously announced Fionn Whitehead, star of Dunkirk and Bandersnatch in a modern reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

As one of 20 partner venues across the UK Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre is hosting a digital streaming from March 16-31.

The first uncensored version of the novel was only published in 2011 after it was slammed by Victorian book critics for being “vulgar”, “unclean”, “poisonous” and “discreditable”.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? From the creative team behind the critically acclaimed What a Carve Up!, this Faustian tale is brought kicking and screaming into the world of Instagram, Facebook and dating apps. Set in a profile pic-obsessed, filter-fixated world, the contemporary take follows influencer Dorian Gray as he makes a deal for his social star never to fade. Producers say it will include techniques employed in radio plays, films, documentaries as well as traditional theatre.

THE CASTING: Fionn Whitehead is Dorian Gray. Joining him are Harry Potter, Broadchurch and Sherlock actor Alfred Enoch as Harry Wooton, Joanna Lumley is cast as Lady Narborough, Emma McDonald as Sibyl Vane and The History Boys star Russell Tovey, who co-hosts art podcast Talk Art, will play Basil Hallward with award-winning comedian, actor and writer Stephen Fry as the Interviewer.

Director Tamara Harvey said of the casting: “When trying to tell stories in Covid times, with very few resources and almost no time, the thing you need from your cast more even than talent is a spirit of collaboration, combined with patience, kindness and large doses of humour. Every member of our cast for Dorian Gray brought that and more. They are not only ridiculously talented but also – perhaps even more importantly – they’re all genuinely lovely people, which has made the making of this piece a joy.”

SCHOOLS: Education packs, which will be packaged with performance links at £100 per school/group, are also available for the production and have been curated to be used across a range of curriculum areas, particularly to those studying Drama and Theatre, Performing Arts, Media and PSHE.

Co-produced by: The Barn Theatre in Cirencester, the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, Oxford Playhouse in Oxfordshire and Theatr Clwyd in Mold.

Audience members receive a screening link which will activate on their booked performance date for a 48-hour period. Tickets will include both a link to the production as well as a digital programme. Closed captioning will be available for all dates during the run, with audio description available from Mar 23-31.

Tickets cost £12 via pictureofdoriangray.com Box Office and education pack enquiries can be made by emailing bookings@pictureofdoriangray.com

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