Based on Oscar Wilde’s famous novel of 1891, the play is part melodrama and part comedy of manners. It tells the story of Dorian Gray, a beautiful young man who falls in love with a portrait of himself. He naively makes a pact with the Devil, whereby he will keep his youthful appearance while the picture grows old. Under the influence of a charming new friend, Dorian dedicates himself to a life of pleasure in London’s salons and bordellos. As he pursues a life of sensuality and moral corruption, he remains forever young in appearance. But to his surprise and horror, the beautiful young man in the portrait turns into an aging, grotesque image of himself. Wilde’s novel shocked the Victorian readers of his time. In spite of the public outrage, however, it soon became a bestseller due to its witty language and amusing characters.