The Picture of Dorian Gray by The Alchemic Order

“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter”

The Alchemic Order, Samuel Orange, River Hawkins, Oscar Wilde

The Alchemic Order’s production of The Picture of Dorian Gray with Samuel Orange

The Alchemic Order Present

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

3 August – 28 September

Performances: Tues – Sat 19.30

Prices: £35.00/(Tues) £25.00

Bookings: www.thealchemicorder.com

(Exact address revealed upon booking)

The Alchemic Order’s Creative Director, Samuel Orange leads his collective of artists in this new theatrical interpretation of Wilde’s famous novel set in a Greenwich townhouse. Cast includes River Hawkins (Dorian Gray); Samuel Orange (Lord Henry Wotton); Timothy Styles (Alan Campbell); Anna Dane (Mrs Vane); Louise Larchbourne (Mrs Leaf); Mark Laughtone (Victor); Harry August (Basil Hallward); Aron Trausti (James Vane) and Ashlie Walker (Sibyl Vane)

Creative Director Samuel Orange said: “With The Picture of Dorian Gray we want the audience to really inhabit the world of Wilde’s famous characters. Our team of creatives including YAYA and LEAF award-nominated architects Feix and Merlin have curated a magical world which pushes the boundaries of creative possibility, freeing the spectator to explore and delve deeper into the theatrical experience. On entering Dorian Gray’s residence we invite you to join us for an intimate evening of art, intrigue and distant pleasures. Be enchanted as Dorian’s odyssey unfolds around you.”

Here’s our REVIEW:

Immersive theatre is hot right now, but no more so than this impressive production of Picture of Dorian Gray from newly formed creative company The Alchemic Order.

Less a mind-altering labyrinth but more a classy exploration of Oscar Wilde’s only novel, the audience as silent witness, drawn up so close as to see the workings and get inside the psychology of the characters.

Set in a Georgian townhouse in Greenwich, London, the home of Mr Gray, callers are greeted by period-costumed actors serving drinks. An ‘event’ is announced and we are shown through to the black satined boudoir of Dorian Gray where he beautifully awakes reflected in a suspended mirror. Reflections and distorted images are key to the production, the house and garden have been cleverly redesigned with the action taking place usefully reflected and examined in looking-glass surfaces, seen through spy holes and, as night falls, bathed in bright light.

In enters Lord Henry Wotton, glossy locked, fashionable-of-the-time dandy with an enviable supply of tongue tripping aphorisms. He is discussing the new discovery of artist Basil Hallward, aesthetic beauty personified in the naïve young Mr Gray.

Through an evening of moving through rooms, surprised by theatrical reveals, this clever staging takes us into the private world of high and low Victorian society. Confessions and devastating wit are delivered from high-backed leather armchairs with peacock feathers, oriental rugs and cut crystal glasses reinforcing the period setting.

Having found the sweet acoustic spots in the house, the clear, and vivid magical words, are delivered ably by a talented and well-rehearsed cast, the pacing perfectly steered by first time director and actor Samuel Orange who also appears as Lord Wotton. River Hawkins plays Dorian as the faux effete, a pretty boy oil painting keen to please admirers but over time, an interval of 18 years, with an excess of hedonism becomes a monster. It’s gripping to watch him change, you sense it in his eyes, body language and controlled menace. Respect to Harry August as Basil Hallward, who on Press night had only been in the role two days, and carried it off admirably, along with fellow Icelander Aron Trausti as a brutish James Vane. An ashen faced Timothy Styles, as Alan Campbell gets his hands dirty in a memorable attic scene. Elaborate costumes play a role such that the director says to see Sibyl Vane’s dress is worth the price of the ticket alone. We’d agree and add the bonus to see the beauty and comedy of Ashlie Walker playing the theatrical greats. A stand out scene is the grief of Mrs Vane played by Anna Dane and the languid musical funeral procession of her daughter ending in an outstanding danse macabre. There are no small parts in this production with beautifully chignonned Louise Larchbourne and mustachioed Mark Laughtone welcoming guests and playing many parts in keeping us, respectfully, informed and hooked.

If one is poisoned by a book then this is a great way to die.

Review by Alan Greenhalgh

The Picture of Dorian Gray runs until 28th September 2013.

READ MORE theatre reviews here The Shakespeare Conspiracy and Jekyll and Hyde

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Jason Orange from Take That with his brother Samuel (right) and River Hawkins (centre) at the aftershow drinks for Alchemic Order’s production of Picture of Dorian Gray.

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Much deserved applause for the cast of The Picture of Dorian Gray by the Alchemic Order in Greenwich 2013

'The Picture of Dorian Gray' staged in a house in Greenwich River Hawkins (Dorian Gray), Ashlie Walker (Sibyl Vane) and Samuel Orange (director and Lord Henry Wotton)

‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ staged in a house in Greenwich
River Hawkins (Dorian Gray), Ashlie Walker (Sibyl Vane) and Samuel Orange (director and Lord Henry Wotton) Photo Credit: Joanne Davidson/The Picture Library Ltd

16/08/2013 Guest and actors of The Alchemic Order Present 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' staged in a house in Greenwich Jason Orange, opera singer Monica McGhee, River Hawkins (Dorian Gray) actress Rula Lenska, Samuel Orange (director and Lord Henry Wotton) and set designer Tarek Merlin

16/08/2013
Guest and actors of The Alchemic Order Present ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ staged in a house in Greenwich
Jason Orange, opera singer Monica McGhee, River Hawkins (Dorian Gray) actress Rula Lenska, Samuel Orange (director and Lord Henry Wotton) and set designer Tarek Merlin Photo Credit: Joanne Davidson/The Picture Library Ltd

'The Picture of Dorian Gray'

The Alchemic Order Present ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ starring Samuel Orange (director and Lord Henry Wotton) with his brother Jason Orange and River Hawkins (Dorian Gray) Photo Credit: Joanne Davidson/The Picture Library Ltd

Comments

  1. can you please add a credit to my photographs @Joanne Davidson/The Picture Library Ltd
    Many thanks

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