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Out to Lunch Arts Festival: Fifty shades of Dorian...

By Grania McFadden

There’s a spot of time travel on offer at Out to Lunch today. And you won’t need a Tardis or a doctorate to climb on board for a trip to the decadent days of Victorian London.

The Black Box in Belfast will be transformed into the art studio and sitting room of artist Basil Hallward, for a sumptuous adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Audiences are also invited to enjoy a selection of Victorian canapes with their wine during the performance which takes place around the tables at the Black Box.

This languid, luxurious production allows us to soak up the lifestyle of the upper-classes, as Lord Henry Wooton is introduced to the beautiful Dorian by his painter friend.

Both men are in love with Dorian, who soaks up their admiration like a flower in water.

Dorian, of course, makes a Faustian pact that he will remain forever young while Basil’s painting of him charts his decline into sin and ultimate self-destruction.

How many of us would dare to strike the deal which sees Dorian remain forever young, while his portrait takes on the stains and shadows of his debauched lifestyle?

This is a work more timely than you might first think. Only these days, we don’t need a portrait in the attic — just an understanding doctor with a phial full of youth...

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