One of my favourite books has always been ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde. It’s the only novel Wilde ever wrote and has such a preposterous idea at its centre that it could almost be science fiction.
For those who don’t know anything of Dorian Gray, it is about a beautiful man who never ages in person, yet his portrait – hidden away in an attic – gets older in place of the man changing. All Dorian’s sin and hedonism is absorbed by the portrait – he can live the most extreme life and yet remain young and attractive.
Oscar Wilde was actually infatuated by a man called John Gray – they had a brief relationship in 1889. Wilde used Gray’s name for the main character in the novel, but the actual relationship ended and nothing more was heard of the real Gray.
A new play is set to open next month at the Red Lion Theatre in Islington, London, titled ‘The Picture of John Gray’. Written by CJ Wilmann the play aims to explore the real relationship between Wilde and Gray and what happened to the real John Gray.
I really loved this book and even the modern update by Will Self ‘Dorian’ is a great read. In that version, the work of art is a web installation rather than a portrait. When I read that book, I registered the URL for the art installation as featured in the novel. I was surprised the publisher had not reserved it and I left it pointing at my personal home page.
Eventually I tired of annoyed Will Self fans emailing me asking why I had any right to own the URL featured in the novel. I let my ownership of the URL expire. I don’t know who bought it after me, but perhaps I should have offered it to the publisher directly.
It’s a shame that I’m almost certainly going to miss this new play as I live in Brazil and have no plans to be in London during August. In fact, I’m actually planning to be touring the Pantanal in August. However, I’m sure the script will be available online soon.
If you are in London, do go and let me know what the play is like! :-) And don’t forget to check out this song about Dorian written by my friend Enda Mulloy and his band, The BibleCode Sundays…
Details of the play, including the venue and tickets, can be found here.
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Tagged art, CJ Wilmann, dorian, dorian gray, ireland, irish, islington, london, oscar wilde, play, red lion theatre, the picture, the picture of dorian gray, the picture of john gray, theatre, wilde, will self
Online music video channel Secret Sessions is planning to feature some new unsigned artists based on them being recommended by the Twitter community.
This is a great chance to get my mate Ronan onto the channel. Please help if you can. Here is what you need to do…
- Go and follow @Secret_Sessions on Twitter
- Tweet them to say you want to see @rmacmanusmusic on the channel!
- That’s it! Just do it ASAP – before the end of April!
Thanks! I’d recommend having a listen to Ronan’s great ‘War on Peace’ EP. You can find it on iTunes here.
I really dislike insurance companies. They are taking money because of something that *may* happen and every time I have tried claiming insurance in the past the company has always found a get-out clause. Why bother?
Clearly it is important in a catastrophic situation – like crashing the car so badly it’s wrecked – but when the situation is less urgent, the insurance I have bought in the past has never paid.
I even bought an expensive property insurance policy once because I was upset that my previous policy did not let me claim for a stolen laptop computer. I upgraded it, threw in all the added extras and when my bicycle was stolen I felt sure that they would pay – only to find a clause stating that bicycles are not covered when away from the house.
I should have just lied, but then that would be fraud and I have never lied to an insurer to try getting a payout. They don’t pay me even when I try making a genuine claim.
But when I do want to buy a policy I don’t expect to have to go to a broker – not in 2014. I already have a car insurance policy here in Brazil with Porto Seguro. My wife just bought a car so ideally I would assume they could just modify our existing policy to lump the two cars and two drivers all together as one.
No. They can’t do it. I need to just buy a completely new policy and they can’t help me on the telephone – the instruction was to just go to a broker. The broker took the existing Porto Seguro policy so he had all our details from the existing policy – something the insurance company should have done anyway…
It’s not a very good way to treat an existing customer – surely the model any successful company should be following is how to make it easy for customers spend more money?