Dorian Gray a new musical in the making

I would give anything for that- I would give my soul “

Dorian on his beauty not fading

Elliot Gooch as Dorian Gray (Photo: Lidia Crisafulli)

Dorian is a new musical in development and after a successful two night run in September, the show was invited back for a further week in the Studio space at Paul Taylor-Mills’s Other Palace. 

The story is well known from Oscar Wilde’s original of the beautiful young man whose life of debauchery and corruption reflects not in his face but in a portrait.  It is a classic story and ripe for a new musical adaptation.

What Linnie Reedman has done is to transpose the story to the 21st century where it works well, looking at nightclub culture and stars of the Rock music circuit.  The show opens with church organ music and an exceptionally beautiful young man, Dorian Gray (Elliot Gooch) is at his aristocratic grandfather’s funeral. 

Elliot Gooch as Dorian Gray and James Rockey as Baz Hallward (Photo: Lidia Crisafulli)

He meets Victoria Wotton (Chanice-Alexander Burnett) wife of Lord Harry Wotton (Harry Burton).  She is a fashion stylist and her husband owns a nightclub and is an entrepreneur, music promoter and rock singer.  The artist and photographer Baz Hallward is commissioned to photograph Dorian – no need for the Beautify button here as Dorian looks like an Adonis.  The fifth member of the cast is Ashley Goh as Sybil Vane, an opera singer at Covent Garden whom Dorian falls for but then lets down with a tragic result.   

It is Joe Evans’s music and lyrics which bring the story to life with classic rock numbers and beautiful ballads.  I also especially liked, throughout the show, the percussive introductions written in many different styles, opening moments of real drama or anticipating the songs and very refreshing. 

It is obvious to me the amount of work that has already gone into this show and I feel the first act is very successful and ready for the full musical works.  Linnie Reedman’s direction is audience friendly.  The voices of the singers have great depth and you can hear every single word of Joe Evans’s lyrics. 

Elliot Gooch as Dorian Gray (Photo: Lidia Crisafulli)

The performers are top notch, indicative of how much talent London can call on. Chanice Alexander-Burnett as Victoria has already played Fantine at the Sondheim Theatre in Les Miserables  and James Rockey and Harry Boyd blew me away with the strength of their singing.  Victoria Wotton and Baz Hallward show emotion as they both love a piece of Dorian and Harry Wotton is also attracted to Dorian but in control. 

Ashley Goh doubles as Sybil, and her avenging sibling Fabian, maybe a transsexual, who meets Dorian long after Sybil’s death, suspicious but not understanding Dorian’s apparent youth and  rumours of his involvement with their sister.

Elliot Gooch as Dorian Gray and Harry Boyd as Hsrrry Wotton (Photo: Lidia Crisafulli)

Elliot Gooch is a real find as a beautiful young man with a lovely singing voice.  Tall and blonde he could have walked off the pages of Vogue.  His dark side too is a revelation as he snarls at his lovers and turns ugly.  

Many of the songs are duets, for instance the subtitle song, “The Son of Love and Death” sung by Lord Wooton and Dorian. This tune describes Dorian’s conception when his aristocratic mother Margaret Devereux ran away with a dashing soldier and died giving birth to Dorian.

The pacing too means the musical never lags as the original story and its adaptation are brimfull of drama. You can listen to some of the music online which I recommend.

The Second Act features a rock music concert where Dorian’s fans “The Black Hearts” are gathered. Portentous percussion and lighting accompanies Dorian’s descent into drugs and crime.  There is an exciting dance scene from Ashley Goh as Fabian. In a final scene projected onto the nightclub wall are portraits of Rock singers who died too young, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones and Mamma Cass.

I am really encouraged by seeing this terrific musical in the making and look forward to seeing it again and doing more justice to its individual melodies.  

Elliot Gooch as Dorian Gray (Photo: Lidia Crisafulli)







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Musical Numbers

Act One

 I’m Going to Live Forever

 The Ultimate Sensation

Don’t Turn Away

Son of Love and Death

The Hardest Flame

Sin is the Only Colour

It’s Different This Time

The Fire of Your Desire

Out of the Blue

Cold as the Moon

Song for a Dead Girl


Act Two

Blood and Vice

Devil’s Bargain

See Into Your Soul

The Face of Truth

Song for a Dead Girl  (Reprise)




Production Notes

Dorian – Son of Love and Death

Music and Lyrics by Joe Evans

Book by Linnie Reedman

Directed by Linnie Reedman



Elliot Gooch

Chanice Alexander-Burnett

Ashley Goh

James Rockey

Harry Boyd



Director: Linnie Reedman

Musical Director: Aaron Clingham

Movement Director: Anthony Whiteman

Design Consultant: Isabella van Braeckel

Sound : Jack Evans


Running Time: Two hours 10 minutes with an interval

Booking 4th July to 10th August 2024
at Southwark Playhouse The Large
now with Alfie Friedman as Dorian

Booking past 6th November 2022


The Other Palace Studio

The Other Palace

12 Palace Street

London, SW1E 5JA

Box Office: 020 7592 0302

Tube: Victoria

Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge

at the 8pm performance at

the Other Palace Studio  on 2nd November 202