Matthew Bourne's Dorian Gray

Freely adapted from Oscar Wilde's Gothic masterpiece.

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Dorian GrayDevised and Directed by Matthew Bourne
Music - Terry Davies
Set & Costume Design - Lez Brotherston
Lighting Design - Paule Constable
Choreography - Matthew Bourne and the Company
Video Design - Mark Grimmer for Fifty Nine Productions
Sound Design - Paul Groothuis
Associate Directors - Scott Ambler & Etta Murfitt.


Richard Winsor, Michela Meazza, Aaron Sillis, Christopher Marney, Jared
Hageman, Ashley Bain, Drew McOnie, Ebony Molina, Joe Walkling,
Shaun Walters, Chloe Wilkinson.


David Shrubsole (MD/Keyboard), James Pusey (Guitar & Mandolin), Mat
Elliott (Bass Guitar), James Gambold (Drum Kit/Percussion), Magnus Mehta

Opening performances

King's Theatre, Edinburgh Festival August 22-30, 2008
Previewed at Plymouth Theatre Royal August 14-16
Sadler's Wells Theatre, London September 2-13
Norwich Theatre Royal September 16-20
Newcastle Theatre Royal September 23-27

"A beautiful and perfect, wordless essay on these lives and times."  The Independent
"Performed by and outstanding cast with Richard Winsor and Aaron Sillis electric in the lead roles."  Metro
"Terry Davies' score - the perfect soundtrack to Dorian's World."  The Guardian
"A superb score by Terry Davies that ranges from pulsating techno beats to classical piano arrangements" Variety
"A highlight was Terry Davies' accompanying music, often evocative, occasionally brutal, effortlessly delicate and enchantingly beautiful" Edinburgh Evening News


Matthew BourneOscar Wilde’s classic gothic fable has long held a fascination for me. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” can be viewed as a “black fairy tale”: a Victorian melodrama which tells the story of an exceptionally alluring young man who makes a pact with the devil and remains forever young whilst his portrait ages grotesquely. In a contemporary context, it can also be read as a modern morality tale concerning our obsession with youth and celebrity. The destructive power of beauty, the blind pursuit of pleasure and the darkness and corruption that lie beneath the charming façade; the themes behind Wilde’s cautionary tale have never been more timely. It was this scenario that I brought to composer, Terry Davies. Could we set Wilde’s darkest tale in the image-obsessed world of contemporary art, politics and fashion? A place where the “beautiful people” crown Dorian as the season’s “It Boy”. What kind of music would serve our story?

Finding ourselves completely out of our comfort zones, we explored the world of contemporary music in all its enormous variety, to find the perfect sound world for “Dorian”. As is usual with Terry, there was not one particular sound or style at all, but an eclectic mix of infectious rhythms and riffs, haunting melodies, witty instrumentation and above all, a supremely theatrical sensibility that serves every mood of the story that I wanted to tell.

I always point out to the dancers that, in the absence of words, the music is their “script”, and Terry understands that too. One of my early concerns with this story was that the three main protagonists, Dorian, Basil and Lady H (our version of Lord Henry in the novel), are all rather unsympathetic characters. Their selfish lives are all about surface, ambition and self-gratification. But listen to Terry’s music for these characters and you start to understand their inner lives, their internal conflicts and get an insight into their souls. As I said, this musical “script” has given the story not only its atmosphere and energy but also its heart.

Matthew Bourne May 2009

2009 tour:-


  1. White Box Art Gallery
  2. The Science of Beauty
  3. Celebrity
  4. White Club
  5. Evil Twin
  6. Final Shoot
  7. Immortal


Photos: Hugo Glendinning top
and remaining photographs by
Mikah Smillie.
Dorian Grey
Dorian Grey
Dorian Gray CD front cover
cd cover
Dorian Gray CD front cover
cd cover - back




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