Review: The Confessions of Dorian Gray: 4: The Heart That Lives Alone

Dorian meets Tobias Matthews, a man with a secret as outlandish as his own…

Writer and director Scott Handcock pulls off a piece of sleight of hand in this great two-hander (okay, there are some minor other speaking parts, but to all intents and purposes this is between Alexander Vlahos’ Dorian and Hugh Skinner’s Toby) that successfully sets the audience up to expect one outcome from a rendezvous between Dorian and Toby, and then sends it in a completely different direction.

Spoilers follow – if you’ve not downloaded the story yet, and intend listening to it, then don’t read beyond here. Just get on with it!

The reveal of Toby’s true nature changes the story completely, but again, Handcock defies expectations. How would two immortals deal with a life together? Answer, as they do here, at least to begin with. Dorian’s a self-centred, self-obsessed  hedonist, and it would seem that he has the perfect partner in Toby. But Dorian’s nature is to corrupt, and his corruption extends to Toby in a way that you don’t see coming. The fundamental dichotomy between them – one of them has eternal life, the other eternal death – leads to a heart-breaking scene which may echo a similar moment in the original 30 Days of Night but is no less effective for that.

The cross-narration of the opening scenes is a device that works well, but once again we’re left wondering who they’re both talking to (and indeed, how…!)

Verdict: Each of these is becoming a little audio gem – Vlahos proving he’s got a strong career ahead.  8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Heart That Lives Alone from Big Finish

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