Succession’s actress Sarah Snook will take on London’s West End in a one-woman interpretation of Oscar Wild’s classic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. This adaptation is directed by Kip Williams. Snook will play all 26 characters from the novel. The play will combine live elements with pre-recorded clips that will be shown during the show. This will be done with the help of screens and technological elements such as the use of SnapChat filters to bring the story to life with the solo actress.
The adaptation of Wild’s novel by Kip Williams has already garnered success during its run in Sydney, Australia in 2020. Snook will take over the large role from Eryn Jean Norville. The original adaptation amassed incredible reviews and sold out two entire encore seasons. The Australian run swept many prestigious awards at the highly acclaimed award ceremonies of 2022 Sydney Theatre Awards and 2023 Green Room Awards. The Guardian described the play as “dizzyingly beautiful” and Time Out proclaimed it as “one of the greatest performances ever seen on an Australian stage”. The monumental success of the Australian run inspired the creators to open the show to international audiences. The show has kept its entire Australian team and bringing Snook on as an Australian actress keeps the roots of the show alive even in its British revival.
Wild’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray is set in 19th century London. The protagonist, Dorian Gray is a young, wealthy, and attractive man who receives a painting of himself painted by his friend Basil Hallward. The portrait is so beautiful in Gray’s eyes and he begins to fear his own ageing process. Gray then wishes that he remains the same and that the portrait ages in his place. This wish comes true. The painting ages and decays with time while he keeps his youthful appearance. As the novel progresses, Gray commits heinous acts which lead the portrait to decay even further. The book follows him on a journey into extreme vanity and in this process loses his morality.
Sarah Snook will star in the adaptation for twelve weeks starting in January 2024 at the London Theatre Royal Haymarket. This will be Snook’s first return to the London stage since her 2016 role in Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder with Ralph Fiennes. Discussing her return to the London stage in this role, Snook shared with the BBC : "I'm so excited by the prospect of returning to the stage again, let alone a stage in the West End.”
Snook continued “The Picture of Dorian Gray is just that, and I'm honoured to be joining the team that created it. To be asked to play these multiple roles is an exhilarating challenge I can't wait to get into."
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