The actor lends his talents to the voice recording of this historic novel.
Fifty years since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act was passed in England and Wales, Audible is releasing a new recording of Oscar Wilde’s classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
They are partnering with award-winning gay actor, Russell Tovey, known for his work on HBO’s Looking among others. He has leant his voice to the recreation of the story.
The spoken word company has promised to donate 25p to Stonewall, UK’s leading LGBT+ charity, for every copy of the book downloaded within the next year.
This will help the charity to continue their important work towards equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans citizens.
Regardless of the number of copies sold, Audible has vowed to contribute a minimum of £5,000 to Stonewall.
On the importance of this project Russell Tovey said: “This is a really important anniversary and something that I’m proud to be commemorating with Audible.
“The Picture Of Dorian Gray is a timeless story, and Wilde’s trial and subsequent conviction is almost as famous. Storytelling – whether on the page, stage or screen – offers a powerful way to educate one another about important social issues, and this new audiobook is certainly no exception.
“I hope listeners enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed recording it.”
© Gay Times
Although written between the lines, The Picture of Dorian Gray was one of Britain’s first novels to explore homosexuality.
The author, Oscar Wilde, was convicted for crimes of ‘gross indecency’ under the Criminal Law Amendment act of 1885. This law would eventually be overturned by the Sexual Offences Act, which the re-release of Dorian Gray suitably commemorates.
The Director of Content at Audible UK, Laurence Howell, praised the project and the choice of Russell Tovey as narrator.
“We are really pleased to have been able to work with Stonewall to commemorate this anniversary, championing their efforts through such an iconic work of fiction,” he said.
“Russell Tovey was the perfect partner for this project and is truly electric in his telling of the Oscar Wilde classic.”
Jessica Bianchi-Borham, Head of Supporter Fundraising at Stonewall, also offered her support and praise for the reading, explaining the importance of projects like this for the LGBT+ community.
“We’re thrilled to receive such fantastic support from Audible, and are delighted that they have brought Oscar Wilde’s classic to new audiences everywhere through this beautiful new recording,” she stated.
“While lots has changed for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Britain since Wilde was alive, we unfortunately still live in a world where LGBT people are far from safe, included and welcomed in all corners of society.
“Audible’s support will enable Stonewall to continue working with schools, workplaces, sports, faith communities and alongside international human rights defenders, to work toward a world where every single LGBT person is accepted without exception.”
Russell Tovey’s reading of The Picture of Dorian Gray is currently available for download here.
Words Kevin Kissane