Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Incognito with the Pleasance

Pleasance Dome

From 06 August 2015 to 31 August 2015

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Incognito Theatre makes a welcome return to the Fringe with this dark and satirical interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray.

This gothic tale is told by these talented young people who were former members of the Young Pleasance whose sold-out show last year, Government Inspector, was such a hit.

The five talented actors perform with their trademark impressive physicality using empty picture frames to great effect to enhance the story.

The synchronised choreography and movement work together with the effective atmospheric soundscape exceedingly well.

Wilde’s classic story of the handsome and impressionable Dorian—Prince Charming—is convinced he needs to maintain his youthful beauty, “youth is the only thing worth having; when you lose your looks you lose everything.”

He is painted by Basil who is obviously in love with the beautiful Dorian but becomes frustrated when Lord Harry Watkin, who believes that, “the aim of live is self development”, dominates Dorian’s world and takes him on an exploration of the pleasures that the world has to offer from theatre visits to lavish parties.

But Dorian’s exploration of his sexuality leads him to unwittingly sell his soul and so he falls into a world of blatant debauchery and furtive sin from which there is no return.

His love affair with the actress Sibyl eventually leads to her suicide and his world tumbles into utter chaos and destruction.

This is a striking performance with fine ensemble work that reminds us that today’s obsessive quest for youth and beauty has its grave dangers.