STEPHEN Fry and Joanna Lumley are to star in a groundbreaking show to raise money for the Oxford Playhouse on the anniversary of the theatre’s closure for the first lockdown.

The national treasures join a glittering cast for a new social media-themed version of Oscar Wilde’s classic The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Mr Fry is famous for everything from comedy shows A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Blackadder and QI, to roles in The Hobbit films, Gosford Park and current TV hit It’s a Sin. He famously starred as the writer of The Picture of Dorian Gray in the acclaimed film Wilde.

Ms Lumley is a former Bond Girl and best-loved for portraying Purdey in the New Avengers and Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous and for championing the rights of retired British Army Gurkha soldiers.

Also appearing in the digital production – which would have been staged at the Beaumont Street theatre were it not for coronavirus restrictions – is Fionn Whitehead who starred alongside Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh and Cillian Murphy in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 hit Dunkirk; Harry Potter star Alfred Enoch; Russell Tovey, who found fame in the stage and film versions of the History Boys, in TV drama Being Human, and comedy Him & Her; and stage and film actress Emma McDonald who starred in last year’s cyber-crime drama Get Luke Lowe.

The production has been filmed with each actor appearing remotely and will be streamed from March 16- 31.

Playhouse co-director Louise Chantal said: “We are very excited about this production which in normal times would have been on stage at the Oxford Playhouse.

“It’s a great celebration of the best of British theatre coming together to show what you are missing while we are still not allowed to put on shows.

“It’s an example of the adaptability of the theatre world to embrace new ways of working so that we can continue to tell our story.”

Joanna Lumley

Joanna Lumley

Director Tamara Harvey is delighted with the cast, saying: “When trying to tell stories in Covid times, with very few resources and almost no time, the thing you need from your cast more even than talent is a spirit of collaboration, combined with patience, kindness and large doses of humour.

“Every member of our cast for Dorian Gray brought that and more. They are not only ridiculously talented but also – perhaps even more importantly – they’re all seriously good people, which has made the making of this piece a joy.”

Fionn Whitehead

Fionn Whitehead

The Victorian novel tells the tale of a debauched aristocratic party animal who sells his soul, to ensure that his portrait, painted by an infatuated artist, ages rather than him, while he enjoys a pleasure-filled existence.

The updated version brings Dorian Gray into the age of Instagram, Facebook and dating apps as a vain and depraved social media influencer who makes a similar deal for his online image never to fade.

It features set and costume design by Holly Pigott, assistant direction by Eleri Jones, Benjamin Collins as director of photography, sound design and original music by Harry Smith and an original song by Jared Zeus.

Russell Tovey

Russell Tovey

Tickets are £12 for a streaming link available from The link will activate on your booked performance date for a 48-hour period. Audio description and closed captioning will be available.

The show is aimed at ages 16 and over.