Counter Weight Physical Theatre, The Innocence of Dorian Gray

Review in Issue 6-3 | Autumn 1994

Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grayreceived condemning reviews after its 1890 publication. Wilde saw it as a ‘real work of art with a strong ethical lesson inherent in it’.

I believe, after watching Counter Weight’s adaptation, there is a strong ethical lesson inherent in this with regards to staging a classic work without previous experience. Eighteen months of time had apparently gone into this production and it seemed such a shame. Devised and performed by Andrew O’Callaghan and Alastair K. Daniel, this play badly needed focused direction and an objective look at the script. There were, to be fair, moments of good physical theatre, but the whole play got bogged down in Wilde’s own words. Beautiful though they may be in print, many of the pretty speeches had little or nothing to do with the core plot and sub-plot. They only resulted in bringing everything to a grinding halt and what was advertised as a ninety-minute play became an agonising, interval-less, one hundred minutes. Counter Weight were allegedly formed to explore this particular work. Long may their exploration continue because they haven’t found it yet. I will always admire people for stepping onto stage. It takes guts. Adapting a book for the stage is an art in itself. But I think it was too grand a project for the content to stay there. I just couldn’t wait to get out of my seat!

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 1994

This article in the magazine

Issue 6-3
p. 25