Succession may have only ended a few weeks ago, but one of its biggest stars is taking on the challenge of a new role. Having recently starred in the thriller Run Rabbit Run, Sarah Snook is heading to the West End to star in The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Set to play a total of 26 different parts, expect nifty camera tricks and tech allowing one person to play all of the different characters. Here’s everything you need to know about the production…
What’s The Picture of Dorian Gray about?
You’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the premise of The Picture of Dorian Gray, but if not, here’s a quick refresher. Oscar Wilde’s classic novel centres around a young man who has a portrait painted of himself and becomes obsessed with the idea of remaining youthful, free to live a libertine lifestyle. So much so that he wishes to be able to sell his soul in a Faustian bargain, keeping him youthful while the portrait itself ages, which is granted, but of course things aren’t quite so simple.
What will the production be like?
This stage production of the play, which originated in Sydney, uses plenty of modern theatre trickery to give a faithful adaptation of the original novel, while creating a feast for the eyes unlike much else on stage. Director Kip Williams took the story and third-person narration from the book, and managed to transfer it into the theatre, with one actor playing 26 different roles.
As well as just Dorian, Snook will play characters like Basil, the man infatuated with Dorian’s beauty and who paints his portrait, the hedonistic and influential Lord Henry Wooton, actress Sybil Vane, and many of Wilde’s other creations.
While obviously it’s impressive (and challenging) to play 26 different people in one single project, it also has the effect of one person interacting with alternate versions of themselves, adding to the themes of identity that are present in the novel. While we don’t have imagery of the West End version just yet, the Sydney show (pictured) offers some insight into what we can expect.
What else do we know?
Unlike typical theatre shows, the play won’t have an interval in its two-hour runtime, meaning you’re enthralled from curtain up to curtain down. Snook has been on the West End before in the play The Master Builder, but commented to BBC News that The Picture of Dorian Gray was “an exhilarating challenge I can’t wait to get into… … bringing a show to an international audience, to a theatre Oscar Wilde would no doubt have frequented, is thrilling.”
The production in Sydney received rave reviews and acclaim for its unique staging and smart artistic choices, and anyone who’s seen the Aussie actress as Shiv will know she’ll definitely measure up to the task.
When and where can we see it?
The Picture of Dorian Gray will be landing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 23rd January 2024.
Book your tickets now at trh.co.uk