Things are about to get Wilde…

By Myron My

Flashing lights, thumping music, crazy costumes and a catwalk. You might be thinking you are at a fashion show but instead it is a new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, simply titled Dorian.


Director Adam Grima has created a modernized queer reading of the text and, through this queer culture lens, looks at its obsession with remaining youthful, narcissism and vanity.

The show takes place on the catwalk, with the cast strutting and performing along it to give the impression we are constantly on display to others and being judged by our choices. However, this set is painted completely white and left bare, juxtaposing this notion with being truthful and baring all.

Dorian is low on dialogue and high on visual stimulation. The costume design by Emma Howchin is brilliant with her play on sexuality and masculinity strongly evident. There are also some confronting scenes of simulated sex and murder as we see Dorian slide into debauchery and vice. Being in such close proximity to the performers, there is a level of intimacy you are unable to escape and it’s another reason why the end reveal of the ‘painting’ of Dorian is so gripping and horrific to watch.

With there being such little dialogue, when it does happen it needs to have an impact and whist the words are strong I don’t feel the delivery of the lines by the cast is. Francisco Lopez is able to bring some life into his dialogue but more work was needed from the other two leads, Johnathon Duffy and Tommy Doyle.

Dorian is not the Dorian Gray we have come to know, so ensure you leave any preconceptions at the door. This is WAQ Productions’ debut at Melbourne Fringe Festival and despite being a little rough around the edges, this play is a unique and interesting interpretation of a well-known text.

Venue: Lincoln Art Centre, Basement 24, Lincoln St, Brunswick East

Season: Until 05 October | Tues- Sat 8:00pm

Tickets: $24 Full | $18 Conc

Bookings: or 9660 9666