The Key: An Art Mystery

Monday June 15, 2015

Main Image

“As a consequence of a number of discussions, over the last two years, about art with Alasdair Gray, I decided to use my knowledge of art history, and my interest in playwriting, to compose a play that really looked at his paintings and to bring those meanings to life using the dramatic potential of theatre.

Alasdair Gray’s paintings on the surface are engaging designs, but they can also reveal hidden depths of ideas and feelings, ranging from intense pain to delightful pleasure: How could these attributes be communicated in a play?

The decision to use Oscar Wilde’s infamous literary character ‘Dorian Gray’ was initially inspired by the chance association of names, but as the play demanded someone who was an art expert, he claimed the job.

Dorian gets assistance from other characters because they have intimate knowledge of the art. In consequence, the writing and the painting are brought into a close relationship and exploited by the dramatic visual and literary qualities of theatre.

Lanark and Duncan Thaw are regenerated to help Dorian Gray find the key to the meaning of Alasdair Gray’s art. However Lanark has a new dilemma and she falls in love with the beauty of Dorian Gray. Duncan Thaw on the other hand is sceptical and tests Dorian’s claims about the role of art and the beautiful as transforming experience for the individual.

Assisted by a lily, a symbol of purity and beauty they travel into the Alasdair Gray mural painting ‘Glasgow: The Triumph of Death’ in search of the key, but events overtake them and their world is turned upside down. Will art triumph over death?”

-       Duncan Comrie, writer of The Key: An Art Mystery


Showing on the 16th and 17th of June at 2.30/7.30pm, tickets are available from Mighty Fine Theatre or available on the door at Websters Theatre. 

Written by westendfestival, at 11:00