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Arts and Ideas

BBC Radio 3

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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews and debates with artists, scientists and public figures.

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Free Thinking Landmark: The Picture of Dorian Gray

January 19th, 2016

Episode 1089 of 1221 episodes

Merlin Holland, Will Self and Fiona Shaw join Matthew Sweet for a discussion about Oscar Wilde's novel which was published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in the July 1890 issue and then as a book 121 years ago in 1891. It prompted discussions about censorship and hedonism and went on to play a considerable part in the writer's downfall. Endlessly filmed, The Picture of Dorian Gray seems to communicate directly to successive generations - but how much about its writer can it really tell us. Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde's grandson, has adapted it for a new stage version which runs at The Trafalgar Studios in London from January 18th to February 13th. Will Self's novel Dorian: An Imitation updated the story to the late 20th century. Fiona Shaw played Agatha in the 2009 film version, Dorian Gray. Producer: Jacqueline Smith

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