REVIEW FROM BROADWAY WORLD UK (broadwayworld.com)
"Set in a fantasy, steampunk world, Ruby In The Dust bring their adaptation of Oscar Wilde's Gothic novel, The Picture of DorIan Gray, to the Spiegeltent on London's South Bank as part of the summer's Underbelly Festival.
On the day of his grandfather's funeral, Dorian decides that he should no longer be a 'secret'. Exotic looking, and of uncertain parentage, he has been kept hidden by his grandfather, his mother having died in childbirth. Dorian knows nothing about love, but decides that it is his quest to find it.
While sitting for his portrait by society painter Basil Hallward, Dorian is discovered by the influential Lord Henry and is soon under the spell of this dangerous, charismatic man. Lord Henry starts grooming Dorian for sex, exerting total power over him, thus securing his descent into a totally corrupt world. A world where sex and death share the same bed. And where love dare not speak its name.
When Dorian realises the painting is in fact a portrait of his conscience, he is horrified to see the level of corruption depicted on the canvas and decides to try to reverse time. [...]
Written and directed by Linnie Reedman, the story is stitched together by the narration of the sinister character of Mr Isaacs, a theatre manager who is out to get revenge on Dorian for the "murder" of his protegé Sybil Vane. The tale unfolds in a series of cabaret sketches with original music by Joe Evans, with choreography by Penelope Simons, and design by Belle Mundi.
Oscar Wilde's story is reinterpreted and made even more relevant in today's society, delving into the underlying themes of sex trafficking, drug abuse and teenage suicide; real concerns as depicted in current TV shows such as Born to Kill, and Three Girls.
Part of the Underbelly Festival, THE EXTRA-ORDINARY CABARET OF DORIAN GRAY is presented [...] at the famous Spiegeltent on London's South Bank.
Rada graduate, Kit Young, takes on the role of the exotic Dorian Gray, alongside tragic love interest Sibyl Vane, played by Hero Douglas – who is directly related to Lord Alfred Douglas, the friend and lover of Oscar Wilde, whose father, the Marquess of Queensbury, brought about Wilde's arrest and subsequent sentence to two years hard labour at Reading Gaol. Meanwhile Lord Alfred (who coined the phrase "the love that dare not speak its name" – often falsely attributed to Wilde) was forced into exile. The multi-talented cast includes Paul Tonkin [Lord Henry], Christine Holman [Lady Henry], Jo Ashe [Mrs Leaf and Madame Lily], Joe Cushley [Mr Issacs], Lewis Rae [Basil] and Sophie Judd [Hetty and dancer]."