This production amounts to the third in Kip Williams trilogy of productions in which he has so evocatively, so powerfully, used his approach of intricately combining theatre with video elements to dramatise the complex lives of the play’s characters.
In both the other plays in the trilogy, Tennessee Williams ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ and Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The Irresistible Rise Of Arturo Ui’ the audience was treated to the pleasure of watching a cast of talented actors perform.
The tone is very different in ”The Picture of Dorian Gray’. Williams has just one actor, Eryn Jean Norvill, to fill the stage. In a mercurial performance Norvill plays some 26 roles, and deserved every bit of the standing ovation she went on to receive.
Wilde’s allegorical tale speaks so much about the human condition;, how prone to vanity we human beings are, how deeply we try to hold onto our youth and how futilely we deny the ageing process and our own mortality. These themes come through with crystal clarity.
How best to describe this production?! I’m choosing to say it is a very visceral experience. The scenes come across so clearly. Like the scene where the audience witnesses Dorian Gray experiencing the grotesqueness and all encompassing nature of an opium den.
The current season of ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde, adapted and directed by Kip Williams, starring Eryn Jean Norvill, has been extended until Saturday January 9, 2021. With recent changes to Covid 19 regulations the Sydney Theatre Company is now able to fill the Roslyn Packer Theatre to 75% capacity.
Production images by Dan Boud.