Les critiques de la 2nde Européenne

(actualisé le )

The Picture of Dorian Gray adapted by Théâtre en anglais

Reviewed by the European section (2° 8)

- Some liked the play…

  • Charlie

I enjoyed this play because all the actors played very well and I laughed a lot. This play was very interesting because of the contrast between the personality of characters at the beginning and at the end of the play. For example, at the beginning, Dorian was the symbol of smartness, youth and beauty. He had good manners and spoke the English of the high society. And at the end he was totally mad, possessed by the devil, he lived a loose life and he didn’t control his mood swings any more, like Lord Henry who ended up being totally drunk in a Church.

  • Perrine

I liked the play, the actors played well even if sometimes there was noise in the audience. But I think that the story was supposed to be weird and tragic and they made a comedy of it. The actor who played Dorian Gray was effeminate whereas he was supposed to be a dandy.

  • Manon

I thought the play itself was good, even though I didn’t really like the comedy effect. And I also thought the actors were very good, because the atmosphere in the room was horrible : people kept talking and I think the actors were really good for not forgetting their lines. I didn’t expect Dorian to look like this, because I had seen the movie and I imagined him more like a very masculine type of man. Also, there were some bits in the play that were a bit too long. Despite those negative aspects I enjoyed the play.

  • Joachim

I enjoyed this play. It was not the best play I’ve ever seen but it was okay.
I found that the actors and the actress played really well.
What I didn’t like was the humour. It was too heavy sometimes.
The joke with the spit was okay for once or twice but, all along, it became tedious.
The adaptation was faithful. The setting was simple but sufficient.
And, in fact I didn’t get bored.

  • Alice

I rather enjoyed the play The picture of Dorian Gray that we saw at the Bataclan on January 19th.

However, I think the opening of the theater was a bit long. I didn’t really appreciate the long wait outside before being able to get in the Bataclan. Moreover, the behavior of the audience really disappointed me. Some people really didn’t pay attention to the play and made a lot of noise. I think it was totally disrespectful for the actors who were playing and for the other spectators.

Otherwise, the play was rather entertaining, and sometimes funny. The actors played their roles very well and I was glad to make out every line which was said. I guess the fact that we studied it a litlle bit before in class was a real benefit. I was kind of surprised by the character of the presenter at the beginning because he’s not in the original novel and he doesn’t belong to the plot. Moreover, it’s unusual to have an external character in a play but I just got used to him.

To end this review, I would say that I had a nice time there and it made me want to read the whole book in French.

  • Eva

I think it was a really good play. Even if some scenes were very weird and even
if our places in the audience were not good, the story was interesting and some
moments were funny. The actors acted very well and I think it was more practical
in this play to change the scenery than in The Pearl because there were
curtains. In short, I liked this play.

  • Clélia

I found that the actress who played all the female characters was very good because I didn’t realise that it was always the same actress. The actor who played Dorian Gray was not as I have imaged (he had long hair...).

- Some didn’t …

  • Chloé L —D

I was shocked by the choice of the actor who played Dorian. He doesn’t correspond to the Dorian who I imagined : his long blond hair was ridiculous.
Some scenes were weird and hard to understand for me (I haven’t read the book).

The English was easy to understand except the rolling of the "r" of the actor who played Lord Henry.

I didn’t like the play because of the cast.

  • Maud

I didn’t like the play very much because I think that the story is sad and tragic, but the play was a tragi-comedy and I didn’t like the adaptation of the story.

I didn’t like when Dorian spat in his hand : it isn’t my type of humour even if they were funny parts at certain moments and the “host” was very funny and I adored him.

I liked the fact that the public took part in the play : it was a good idea.
I think that the actors acted well. The end is very interesting and well done : when Dorian killed the portrait, the canvas had a tear, and red like blood. Dorian’s head was in the frame : I think that represents the rebirth of the painting : it becomes like before the pact with the devil.

  • Julie

I didn’t appreciate this play at all. I think the actors didn’t perform well.
I preferred The Pearl, the staging was better.
Nevertheless I was glad to go to the theater :)

  • Chloe B

I do not have a very good impression.
First, to me, the character of Dorian Gray was too effeminate and he looked like a child. He wasn’t serious and he overplayed so I think it was boring and repetitive. I couldn’t bear his face, his manners, his too high-pitched voice.
The play was a little difficult to understand because of the vocabulary and also there were strange scenes like with the sadistic experience of the characters.
I believe that they wanted to convey a comical effect but for me the play wasn’t comical.

However they respected the story, the end was really good, they found a way to show to the spectator how Dorian died.

  • Gabrielle

The actors were always doing the same things in the same way, and they often overplay their characters. I thought only the actor who played Henry was quite good.

Also, it was a tasteless interpretation of the book, first because the setting and the staging were very poor, and second because the spirit of the story and the characters were not respected : Dorian is not gay, nor is Basil ; and the book is supposed to be dramatic and sometimes ironic, not vulgar and comical.

Moreover, we had very bad seats so that we couldn’t see anything of what was happening when the actors were lying down on the floor.

In the end, I thought it was a parody, and even a mockery of the original book of Oscar Wilde, whose reading I greatly appreciated.

  • Emeline

When I saw Dorian Gray at the theatre, I first thought that it was strange to dress the main actor with this golden dressing gown, and his long blond hair wasn’t the style people had at that time so I thought it was not really well-researched.

Then, I saw the character with a different point of view. This Dorian Gay was different from the Dorian of the film. He didn’t look serious and he was funny with his gesticulations. In fact I found that it was interesting to invent an effeminate character and that had homosexual tendencies.

  • Mathilde :-)

I didn’t like the play at all.

First, I think the actors didn’t act very well.

They yelled more than they spoke and I didn’t really believe them when they cried or when they would give emotions to the audience.

The man who played Dorian Gray wasn’t at the right level.

The woman who played a lot of different parts was, I think, the only one who performed properly.

Then, the staging and the way the players moved weren’t well-researched :
they made always the same movements, the same actions...

The setting just gave information about the kind of places where they were moving with furniture like an easel for the studio or a sofa for Dorian’s room...
I think that the fact there weren’t more details didn’t let the audience enter completely in the play.

Finally, I disliked the lighthearted and quite vulgar tone the director gave to the play.

I don’t believe it was the same kind of atmosphere than in the Oscar Wilde’s novel and I will read it to check it by my own.

  • Romain

The picture of Dorian Gray was a play which disappointed me. In fact, I think that the actors focused on acting the story in a humorous way but I think it doesn’t represent the story which is a fantastic story. It would be better if they focused more on the fantastic aspect.

  • Mathilde F.

I didn’t really like the play. In my opinion, Dorian Gray was supposed to be handsome and young ; but strong, intimidating and cruel as well. This part of him wasn’t in the adaptation and I think it was a bad point.
In fact, I didn’t appreciate the comical adaptation. Dorian’s long hair didn’t suit his personality.
I think he was too much effeminate to be such an evil man.
Moreover, I regret not being able to see the painting growing old. It was always facing the background of the stage.
Although I hadn’t read the book before seeing the performance, I understood almost all the play and I liked the story in itself.

  • Katia

I think that this play wasn’t very interesting because of the choice of the leading character.

I think that he did a wrong interpretation of the real Dorian Gray.
But I must admit that Lord Henry’s interpretation was very good.
Also, I enjoyed the pressure and the homosexual aspect of the atmosphere of this play.

We can see that Oscar Wilde took this brainwave from his own life (because he was an homosexual himself).

To finish , I could say that I liked this play because of its eccentricity and originality.

  • Laetitia

I didn’t find the play so bad but I think that the choice of the actor who played Dorian wasn’t right. I was surprised because I didn’t imagine him blond and with long hair. The Bataclan is a big theatre and it’s true that we expected a play with more things on stage, more actors and a better performance than in the Pearl which was in a little theatre.

  • François

I can’t tell you whether I enjoyed the play because there were too many moments I didn’t understand. However there are some points I really did not appreciate : the director stressed the relationship between Dorian and his friends too much . Indeed, I wondered if he were homosexual or not ; and I think the director is wrong because if you have seen the film Alexander by Oliver Stone with Colin Farell, you can see that Alexandrer and his best friend (I don’t remember his name) are very close , so close that they sleep in the same bed and hug each other. When I saw it I asked the same question and I was answered that in those days, relationships between men who grew old together, were extremely strong, so that it makes us think that they were maybe homosexual but they weren’t, only friends.

There is a second point which shocked me : Dorian Gray (the actor). In the novel the author introduces him to us as a man with an exceptional beauty whereas the actor with his long hair wasn’t so beautiful ! Moreover, he had a nose worthy of Cyrano de Bergerac and even if it wasn’t his fault, the director should have done something.

  • Marie H.

When I saw the play, I thought that the main character was more effeminate than he was in the film or in the novel.

Also, I thought that Basil Hallward was not homosexual in the novel and he was in the play.

I believe the acting was too jeering. It was a parody of the novel.

For all these reasons, I did not like the play.

  • Antoine

I didn’t enjoy the play The picture of Dorian Gray.

First I think that the choice of the actor who played Dorian was very bad because he looked like a fool. Moreover the audience’s behaviour was unfair.
Also I thought the actors played very badly (except the girl) and I thought the staging would be better. This point was better made in The Pearl even if I think that for this play they had more money.

  • Elise

I didn’t really enjoy the play because I wasn’t able to catch all the meaning of some scenes even if I understood what the characters said. The direction wasn’t actually much sought after and original.

I think that some scenes were too long and boring.

The only thing I liked was the actors because they played in a very lively way.