Sydney Theatre Company’s sensational smash-hit The Picture of Dorian Gray is set to make its debut in Melbourne, playing from 5 June at the Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne as part of RISING.
The ground-breaking one-person show captivated critics and audiences alike, seamlessly blending the conventions of cinema and live theatre to create an unforgettable dramatic feast for the senses.
This stunning modern reworking of Oscar Wilde’s only novel is adapted and directed by STC Artistic Director Kip Williams, with the timeless text revolutionised by his signature collision of form.
Through explosive interplay of live and pre-recorded video elements, an intricately choreographed collection of on-stage cameras bring to life a dizzying 26 characters. Set to reprise the performance of her career for the Melbourne season, all characters are tremendously performed by the brilliance of Eryn Jean Norvill.
Capturing the omniscient third-person narrative of the century-old fable, its essence is anchored by the intrinsic interweaving of cinema and performance at the production’s centre.
Williams’ interpretation of beauty, excess, and a deal with the devil holds striking resonance in our current era, holding a mirror to 21st century society’s narcissistic obsession with youth.
The imagination and innovation of Williams’ ambitious vision amassed five-star reviews, and recently The Picture of Dorian Gray earned four Sydney Theatre Awards including Best Mainstage Production.
Enrapturing audiences, the acclaimed premiere production in 2020 was extended twice, playing to sold-out houses with demand high for an encore season as part of STC’s 2022 program at their home base.
Now, The Picture of Dorian Gray is the first production to benefit from the partnership between STC and Michael Cassel Group, the first agreement of its kind in Australia to share STC’s innovative work with new audiences around the country and internationally.
“I am thrilled our production of The Picture of Dorian Gray is coming to Arts Centre Melbourne as part of RISING and I want to thank the brilliant Michael Cassel and everyone at Michael Cassel Group for making this happen,” said Director and adapter, Kip Williams.
“I am immensely proud of this production and am in awe of Eryn Jean’s spectacular performance that sits at its centre, as well as the extraordinary work of our team of remarkable artists and technicians.”
Oscar Wilde’s novel is a thrilling look at a world obsessed with youth and beauty – in many ways a mirror for our times. We’ve combined contemporary technology with old school theatricality to bring new life to this iconic story and I’m so excited we can share it with audiences in Melbourne.”
“Given the incredible buzz that surrounded this show from its very first performance, I had high expectations when I first saw The Picture of Dorian Gray,” said Michael Cassel, producer of the Melbourne season.
“The transformative combination of Kip Williams as director and Eryn Jean Norvill in a performance of a lifetime exceeded my expectations – it was innovative, transfixing and entertaining.”
“I am excited that we now get to share this incredible production with audiences in Melbourne before bringing the show to international audiences,” said Mr Cassel.
“Since I first encountered Kip Williams working as artist in residence at STC a decade ago, it has been plain to see that he not only has a gift for making powerful and original theatre, but also the courage for big ideas,” said RISING co-artistic director Gideon Obarzanek.
“At RISING we tell stories about who and where we are right now and oddly, there is none more relevant than this 19th Century gothic masterpiece. This is one of the most extraordinary productions I have seen anywhere in the world.”
“The Picture of Dorian Gray is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on stage. It dazzles and constantly surprises. It captures Wilde’s wit and wickedly astute insights, and presents them in exhilarating fashion for contemporary audiences. Genius.” – Limelight
Director: Kip Williams | Starring: Eryn Jean Norvill | Designer: Marg Horwell | Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper | Composer & Sound Designer: Clemence Williams | Video Designer: David Bergman | Dramaturg & Creative Associate: Eryn Jean Norvill | Production Dramaturg: Paige Rattray | Assistant Director: Ian Michael
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 5 June – 17 July 2022
Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au (Tickets on sale: 28 February)
For more information, visit: www.rising.melbourne for details.
Image: Eryn Jean Norvill stars in The Picture of Dorian Gray – photo by Daniel Boud