The Alchemic Order’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imaginative production, impressive in its scope. Taking place in a secret location, the performance immerses spectators into a world of Victorian opulence and hedonism – encapsulated most powerfully, of course, by the character of Dorian Gray himself. The immersive atmosphere is evoked through a combination of lavish set pieces and some brilliant verbal jousting between Dorian Gray and Wotton.
The Alchemic Order choose not to follow the ending of the original tale, in which Dorian Gray destroys the painting and, in doing so, destroys himself. This is a strange omission, as this is the apex of Wilde’s story. Also, at just under three hours in length (albeit including the interval), the production is perhaps a touch too long. Finally, it is not made entirely clear to us spectators when we should move to another room – clearer cues would be helpful. However, considering the performance I attended was only The Alchemic Order’s fifth outing of Dorian Gray, this is understandable, they are still feeling their way to an extent.
Small quibbles aside, I’d highly recommend you go to see this unconventional take on a classic of literature – particularly if you are a Wilde fan and wish to indulge in an evening of aesthetic decadence.