News: Fionn Whitehead to star in new digital production of The Picture of Dorian Gray

Fionn Whitehead, star of Dunkirk and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, will take on the titular role in an upcoming contemporary digital adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Most recently seen starring in the Lionsgate and Saban Films’ Don’t Tell A Soul, Fionn Whitehead is best known for his critically acclaimed performance as the protagonist Tommy in Christopher Nolan’s Academy Award nominated war film, Dunkirk.

The Picture of Dorian Gray, from the team behind the celebrated digital production of What a Carve Up!, is set to push the theatrical form like its predecessor; utilising elements found in radio plays, films, documentaries as well as traditional theatrical techniques.

Set in a profile pic-obsessed, filter-fixated world where online and reality blur, influencer Dorian Gray makes a deal. For his social star never to fade. For the perfect self he broadcasts to the world to always remain. But as his mental health starts to decline, as corruption and murderous depravity start to creep into his world, the true and horrific cost of his deal will soon need to be met.

The Picture of Dorian Gray, which runs for two weeks from 16-31 March, will reunite the creative team behind What a Carve Up! with Henry Filloux-Bennett writing the new adaptation with direction by Tamara Harvey.

On being reunited for this new production Henry Filloux-Bennett and Tamara Harvey commented: “So many of us have found ourselves living in an ever more online world over the last year. But the benefits and the connections digital have offered us come with a darker side – deterioration in mental health, isolation, online manipulation to name just a few. Following ‘What a Carve Up!’ we really wanted to explore what would happen if you brought Oscar Wilde’s Faustian tale kicking and screaming into a world of Instagram, Facebook and dating apps.”

Their most recent collaboration What a Carve Up!, which featured an all-star cast including Alfred Enoch, Stephen Fry and Sharon D Clarke, achieved both critical and public acclaim throughout the November lockdown of 2020 with the production receiving the prestigious New York Times Critic’s Pick as well as being heralded as one of the best productions of the year by both The Guardian and The Telegraph.

The Barn Theatre in Cirencester, the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich will return to co-produce The Picture of Dorian Gray with Oxford Playhouse in Oxfordshire and Theatr Clwyd in Mold joining the collaboration as co-producers.

The production will be available internationally, running until 31 March. Tickets can be purchased at pictureofdoriangray.com with audience members receiving a screening link which will activate on their booked performance date for a 48-hour period. Tickets are priced at £12 which will include both a link to the production as well as a digital programme. Audio description and closed captioning will be made available for the production during its run.

The producers are also dedicated to supporting fellow theatres across the country during this unprecedented time and have announced that the following theatres will be joining the production as partner venues: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Arts At The Old Fire Station, artsdepot – North Finchley, Belgrade Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Guildhall Arts Centre – Grantham, Hertford Theatre, Mercury Theatre, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Stamford Arts Centre, The Dukes, The Elgiva, The Lighthouse Theatre, The Lowry, The Torch, The Watermill Theatre, Theatre By The Lake, Theatre Royal Winchester and Watford Palace Theatre.

Further casting and creatives for the production will be announced at a later date.

Photo credit: Pip

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