Sarah Snook Just Won Best Actress at the Olivier Awards for Sydney Theatre Company's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' 

Shiv Roy isn't the only part that the 'Succession' star is winning awards for — here, she plays 26.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 15, 2024

Not content with winning an Emmy, two Golden Globes and a pair of Screen Actors Guild Awards for playing Shiv Roy on Succession, Australian actor Sarah Snook has just added a 2024 Laurence Olivier Award to her mantle for her starring role in the West End season of stage sensation The Picture of Dorian Gray. Or roles, to be precise. The production, which hails from Sydney Theatre Company, tasks its lead with playing all 26 characters in the adaptation of Oscar Wilde's gothic-literature masterpiece.

For her current stage date, which started earlier in 2024 and runs until May, Snook has stepped into a tale about a sinister portrait that lets its subject stay young and beautiful. This take on Wilde's work was first staged Down Under with Eryn Jean Norvill doing the honours, premiering in Sydney 2020, and also hitting theatres in Melbourne and Adelaide.

"It's an incredible honour to be on the stage in the West End and this is not something that I thought would come along with that. It's billed as a one-woman show but it's not. It's the crew who are on stage with me all the time every night, and they are a vital and constant support and inspirational," said Snook when she received her award, with the ceremony taking place on Sunday, April 14 in the UK — so in the early hours of Monday, April 15 Down Under.

"So thank you to the crew for being there in this show with me. A huge immeasurable thank you to Kip Williams and your very big brain, and your specificity and precision and your inspiration — and I just thank my lucky stars I get to play inside that mad world you've created every night," Snook continued.

The Picture of Dorian Gray also won Marg Horwell an Olivier for Best Costume Design. Among the rest of the night's winners, Stranger Things: The First Shadow took home Best New Entertainment or Comedy Play, Sunset Boulevard nabbed Best Musical Revival, Dear England scored the award for Best New Play and Operation Mincemeat did the same for Best New Musical.

On the page, The Picture of Dorian Gray is exceptional, as well as astute and unnerving, as it follows the selling of its namesake's soul in order to keep indulging every corporeal whim, urge and desire. There's a reason that it just keeps getting adapted for the screen and in theatres, after all. But there's never been a version like Sydney Theatre Company's, with the London run at The Theatre Royal Haymarket marking Snook's return to West End after debuting in the 2016 production of The Master Builder.

This version of the story uses video and theatre to help its star play so may characters. Williams, who adapted Wilde's text into the phenomenal production and also directs, has travelled to the UK with the new season as well.

Taking the show to London is part of a partnership between STC and Michael Cassel Group, which is all about sharing the former's works around the globe. A similar path — from Australia to the UK, but originating from the Griffin Theatre Company — worked out spectacularly for Prima Facie, too, with the British production starring Killing Eve's Jodie Comer winning Best New Play and Best Actress at the 2023 Laurence Olivier Awards.

Check out a trailer for the West End season of The Picture of Dorian Gray below:

The Picture of Dorian Gray is playing The Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street, London until Saturday, May 11, 2024 — for more information and tickets, head to the play's website.

Images: Marc Brenner.

Published on April 15, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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