Ruby In The Dust Theatre Company present


The Picture of Dorian Gray


Joanna Hickman (Sibyl Vane), Mostyn James (Dorian Gray),

Allie Croker (Lady Henry)



by Oscar Wilde


Director/writer: Linnie Reedman


Designer: J. William Davis


Lighting designer: Jack Knowles


The Basement, Leicester Square Theatre


9 January – 1 February, 2009







A review by Marion Drew for EXTRA! EXTRA!


We are seated in the Café Royal in the heart of the glamorously decadent, seedy underworld of Victorian London. The room is all thick red velvet drapery and low lighting, the tables and chairs are elegant, the grand piano stands in the corner and a coquettish young lady in a mask and black tights moves suggestively around the room. There is an air of erotic suspense; the music creates a strangely comfortable atmosphere, tinged with more than a little apprehension. Are we in a theatre, a cabaret club, an opium den? A slightly menacing Mr. Isaacs (James Lloyd Pegg) strolls among us, Oscar Wilde himself could be seated at the next table, and then, suddenly, Dorian enters, an arrestingly beautiful young man. He stops, looks around … and we begin.

This tale of dark obsession, of the selling of the soul for a lifetime’s pursuit of amoral pleasure is told in this well rounded production with just the right tone, weaving the dark thread skillfully towards its inevitable conclusion. It is a tale of horror, but director Linnie Reedman never loses sight of Wilde’s biting drawing-room wit, which laces Dorian Gray’s downward moral trajectory with its own brand of venom. The acting is excellent, Robert Donnelly as Basil, and Vincent Manna as Lord Henry giving particularly fine performances. Manna fleshes out his character to show a strange almost compassionate side to this dangerous, viciously amoral man’s relationship with Dorian, and his comic timing is excellent. Donnelly captures the essential innocence and ultimate helplessness of the artist who is obsessed with Dorian and who is responsible for painting the portrait which will take on the scars of the sins and heinous acts committed by Dorian, leaving the young man untainted in his beauty.

Having the actors mingle among the audience, fetch a drink from the bar, sit in conversation at a table, Reedman makes extremely good use of the space, and in making us seamlessly part of it all, gives a resonance to the words of Wilde in his preface to the novel ‘It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.’  
The live music, composed by Joe Evans, both sung, and played on piano, clarinet and cello, perfectly evokes the atmosphere of the times, and adds a very pleasurable layer to a carefully thought out production, one well worth the descent under the cold streets of Leicester Square


Mostyn James, Robert Donnelly (Basil Halward)





9th January –1st February 2009
7.30pm for 8pm, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 31 January
3.30 for 4pm 1st February
Tickets: £15
Box Office: 0844 847 2475
Leicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BX




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