A quick review as Linnie Reedman's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray didn't exactly fire me up with energy. Stuck in a terribly unsuitable performance space in the Leicester Square Theatre's basement, the company doesn't give much life to what was, let's not forget, considered a scandalous story in its day. Punctuated with occasional snatches of maudlin music, the story of a man who sells his soul in exchange for youthful looks doesn't have a hint of glamour and decadence, and for such a Faustian tale lacks any kind of dramatic buildup to the conclusion. Matthew James Thomas is pretty enough to be Dorian but also rather bland - again, we don't see anything to suggest he's a good person at the start, so why should we care as he's corrupted? Reedman, who also directs, has her cast speak in stilted upper-class tones that border on parody - I was trying to work out what they reminded me of, and realised it was Eddie Izzard's routine about 1940s films ("Don't go Daddeh, don't go!") As Lord Henry, Vincent Manna's accent is so outrageous I couldn't work out if it was meant to be a joke. It's left to Ilan Goodman as Basil, the artist who creates the infamous portrait, to inject some life and personality into proceedings.
Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, adapted by Linnie Reedman, is booking until the 2nd of August at the Leicester Square Theatre.