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The Trial of Dorian Grey – NST City, Southampton

Written by Danny Humby
18th February 2020

The Trial of Dorian Grey follows an evening in the life of an immortal man, Dorian Gray. Over 150 years ago, his soul was captured within a painting which granted him the blessing, and curse, of immortality. Since then, Dorian has lived a less than pure existence, embracing all the sinful and decadent pleasures that life has to offer him. Of course, if there are no consequences, then why not? His self-contained existence remains unchallenged. Until he meets Mikala, an aspiring model who seems to ask too many questions about his past. When confronted by the consequences of his actions Dorian is forced to consider the life that he has lived.

A continuation of the well known story by Oscar Wilde, this play written by Gabriel Bergmoser, shows that the character survived the original novel and is currently living in the modern day. For this production, the set and props themselves are minimal, which works well. This allows the focus throughout the evening to remain firmly on the two actors upon the stage and any more to the set would possibly distract from this. 

This is a production that relies a lot on the chemistry between the two characters and the often tense dialogue between them. Director Elliot Morris does a great job of creating a strong dynamic that manages to successfully pull both these things off. He should be very proud of this production, especially given that it is directorial debut and I am positive that he will go on to great things. It is also worth mentioning that his assistant director, Rory Dick also did his job well. The programme notes describe his task of blocking for two people as difficult and credit should be given on the success of this job seeing as the movement in this production works very well throughout.

Both Harry Segar (Dorian) and Mazzy Westwood (Mikala) are fantastic in their roles. Dorian is such an iconic character and Harry brings a performance that has to be up there with some of the best who have played the role. Throughout the play, Dorian frequently changes between arrogant and vulnerable to which Harry does this with an ease that has to be commended. Mikala is a very interesting character and Mazzy is a tour de force in the role. Like Harry, Mazzy had a great ability to smoothly switch between various emotional states.

This is a fantastic production and everyone involved should be very happy with the outcome.

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