Guide to seeing The Picture of Dorian Gray in Melbourne

Eryn Jean Norvill as Dorian Gray, lounging on a divan covered with flowers

Danny Baggs

Posted July 19, 2022

Vanity. Depravity. Sensuality. Nihilism. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a cutting-edge one-person show at Arts Centre Melbourne's Playhouse Theatre that reimagines Oscar Wilde’s classic novel for the 21st century. Here’s everything you need to know.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (the play) is a theatrical interpretation of Oscar Wilde’s century-old novel by the same name, adapted and directed by Kip Williams, Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company, and produced in Melbourne by the Michael Cassel Group.

Unlike traditional theatre, this production of The Picture of Dorian Gray is a stunning one-person show that seamlessly blends live video and theatre to bring 26 characters to life through one performer.

Here’s your complete guide to seeing The Picture of Dorian Gray live on stage in Melbourne. RACV Members can enjoy a whole new suite of benefits, with exclusive offers to access a range of theatre experiences and events in Melbourne’s famed East End.

Eryn Jean Norvill as Dorian Gray in a psychedelic image

Eryn Jean Norvill plays 26 characters in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Image: Daniel Boud

Everything you need to know to see The Picture of Dorian Gray in Melbourne

What is The Picture of Dorian Gray about?

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a dark period drama of a beautiful but vain young Englishman, Dorian Gray, who makes a wish for eternal youth after seeing himself in a dazzling new portrait. Throwing himself into a life of luxury, Dorian revels in his forever golden beauty while his portrait becomes more grotesque as it bears the burdens of his excesses.

What do I need to know before I see The Picture of Dorian Gray?

You can watch The Picture of Dorian Gray without any prior knowledge, but if you’re interested in some pre- or post-theatre reading, check out Oscar Wilde’s 1891 novel by the same name.

There are also two movie adaptations: a 1945 American horror-drama film called The Picture of Dorian Gray, and a 2009 British horror-drama film called Dorian Gray.


Eryn Jean Norvill as Dorian Gray in the midst of silver ribbons

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a tale of debauchery and scandal. Image: Daniel Boud

Is The Picture of Dorian Gray suitable for children?

The Picture of Dorian Gray is suggested for ages 12+ only. The story contains strong adult themes, including drug use, suicide and herbal cigarettes. In addition, all children aged 15 or under must be accompanied by a responsible adult when attending any Arts Centre Melbourne premises.

Who is the Melbourne cast in The Picture of Dorian Gray?

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a one-person show performed by Eryn Jean Norvill. On select performances of the season, Nikki Shiels will take the stage as the alternate performer. You can find out which performer you saw on the night by checking the ‘performer board’ between the Playhouse’s Doors 3 and 4.


a compilation of images of Eryn Jean Norvill as Dorian Gray

This adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray uses masterful camera work to bring the story to life. Image: Daniel Boud

How long does The Picture of Dorian Gray go for?

The Picture of Dorian Gray has a runtime of 2 hours, with no interval.

It’s recommended to arrive 30-45 minutes before your performance start time. This enables you to find parking, check in, have your tickets scanned, go to the bathroom, order a drink at the foyer bar and find your seat before the show starts. With up to 5,000 people attending Art Centre Melbourne’s theatres at any one time (when all venues are hosting full audiences), there may be bathroom and bar lines to account for.

How long isThe Picture of Dorian Gray playing in Melbourne?

The Picture of Dorian Gray is running from 5 June – 7 August 2022.

Watch audience reactions to The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Which theatre is The Picture of Dorian Gray showing in?

The Picture of Dorian Gray is showing in the Playhouse: an 884-seat theatre in Arts Centre Melbourne’s Theatres Building.

The plush, purple Playhouse theatre debuted in 1984 with Euripides’ Medea, staged by the Melbourne Theatre Company. Since then, the theatre has hosted everything from musicals and plays to stand-up comedy shows, children’s theatre and dance performances.

Does Arts Centre Melbourne or the Playhouse have a dress code?

Arts Centre Melbourne does not have an official dress code, but shirts and shoes must be worn at all times. Most theatregoers wear smart casual clothes, although some prefer to dress up more formally for the theatre.

How can I buy tickets to The Picture of Dorian Gray?

You can buy tickets to The Picture of Dorian Gray from Arts Centre Melbourne or Ticketek. Tickets bought elsewhere are unauthorised and will not allow you into the theatre.

an exterior view of Arts Centre Melbourne, complete with Princes Bridge, Hamer Hall and the Spire

Arts Centre Melbourne is home to The Picture of Dorian Gray. Image: Supplied

What restaurants are near Arts Centre Melbourne?

Arts Centre Melbourne runs several restaurants, bars and eateries across its venues.

For pre-theatre dining, book a seasonal, modern Australian dinner at The Barre or The Dining Room – both located in the Theatres Building under the iconic Spire. If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, Saké Restaurant & Bar at Arts Centre Melbourne’s nearby Hamer Hall offers both modern and classic flavours with gorgeous views over the Yarra River.

After something more casual, like a light lunch before a matinee show? Allegro on level 5 of the Theatres Building or Protagonist out the front, both offer a range of quick bites like sandwiches, salads and wraps.

Southbank and Federation Square, which are both just a short walk from the Theatre Building, also have many dining options.

What bars are near Arts Centre Melbourne?

Southbank has a plethora of fun cocktail bars and casual beer gardens. Try Ponyfish Island for sour cocktails nestled on the water under Evan Walker Bridge, or Blondie Bar for craft beer and Asian dumplings while listening to live jazz and DJs. If you have a group with diverse tastes, head to Waterslide Bar for delicious drinks of all types. Some of Melbourne’s best cocktail bars are also just a short walk or tram ride away.

Can I get food at Arts Centre Melbourne?

Yes - like most theatres, Arts Centre Melbourne has bars on each level of the Theatres Building. You can purchase drinks and snacks before your show.


exterior view of Hamer Hall

There are many award-winning dining and cocktail locations around Arts Centre Melbourne. Image: Supplied

How do I get to Arts Centre Melbourne?

Arts Centre Melbourne (and the Playhouse) is located at 100 St Kilda Road, Southbank. It’s just across the Yarra River from the Melbourne CBD’s Flinders St Station. To get to the Playhouse, enter the Theatres Building under the Spire on St Kilda Road.

If you are catching public transport to the Arts Centre Melbourne, the closest tram stop is number 14, “Arts Precinct”. Tram routes 1, 3, 3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67 and 72 stop here. The closest train station is Flinders Street Station, just across Princes Bridge from the theatre.

If you are riding your bike or an e-scooter to Arts Centre Melbourne, bicycle lanes run north and south along St Kilda Road. The Theatres Building has several on-street bicycle hoops outside to secure your bike.

If you need to hail a taxi, there is a taxi rank right in front of Arts Centre Melbourne on St Kilda Road. The Welcome Team inside the doors of the Theatre Building can also call you a taxi. 


Eryn Jean Norvill as Dorian Gray and Lord Henry

Eryn Jean Norvill has captured the hearts and imaginations of Melbourne audiences. Image: Daniel Boud

Where do I park at Arts Centre Melbourne?

If you are driving, park at Arts Centre Melbourne’s undercover car park at 4 Sturt Street, Southbank. The theatre car park is open 24/7 and is housed directly underneath the Theatres Building. Make sure you have a valid debit or credit card before entering, because this flat-rate car park is cash-free.

Driving an electric vehicle? The Arts Centre Melbourne car park has two free-to-use Delta Energy Systems Australia AC EV Chargers on the upper level if you need them. These chargers use a Type 1 plug.

If this car park is full, there is some street parking, but these spaces cannot be reserved and are extremely limited. Time limits may also apply. Your best bet in this case is to find parking through an app like arevo.


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