The Confessions of Dorian Gray: The Anniversary

The Confessions of Dorian Gray: The Anniversary — audio drama review

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Dorian Gray celebrates ten years at Big Finish with considerable style and poignancy. 

Released to mark ten years at Big Finish, The Confessions of Dorian Gray: The Anniversary brings a chance for the series’ many fans to revisit a favourite as Alexander Vlahos returns to the role in another Scott Handcock penned and directed production. Add Hugh Skinner back as his vampire lover Tobias and you have the heart of the series once more.

Here’s the Big Finish summary of the story:

London, 1987. As Dorian and Tobias approach their first anniversary, each reflects on the time they’ve spent with one another. From the day they first met on the Royal Crescent to their most recent adventures in Mayfair, both have secrets they’ve been concealing from the other… but now is the time to make their most heartfelt confessions

Vinyl secrets

To mark the anniversary, Big Finish made the story available in a limited edition (500 copies) vinyl release. Cue some clever creativity from Scott Handcock — the story is written, conceived and delivered as two sides a vinyl recording made decades ago and found in a car boot sale.

Side one brings us Tobias (Toby) sharing details of how he and Dorian first met, while side two is Dorian sharing a secret (a confession!) with Tobias. Each recorded separately, they combine to bring the listener closer to the deep connection between the two. Add a hefty dose of the supernatural (beyond an immortal and a vampire) and it’s familiar ground for Dorian.

Dorian Gray: The Anniversary
Dorian Gray: The Anniversary

Looking back

While anniversary is the theme, Handcock avoids piling on references to ten years of audios by focusing on the key aspects of Dorian and Toby’s relationship. That said, some familiarity with their relationship is essential to getting the most from this story.

Toby’s Dear Dorian is a tale told excitedly by Toby eager to share something with Dorian, something demonstrating just how long he had been aware of Dorian’s existence and desire to meet. This contrasts well with Vlahos’s performance on the B-side — Dorian is clearly uncomfortable with recording himself on a medium that can’t be changed (another reference to vinyl) as well as being constrained by the time available on record. He verges on angry with suggestions of something more vulnerable as he tells of events from the early part of their (at the time) short relationship.

The nature of memories, both good and bad, to shape who we are is central the unfolding tale and like an origami master, Handcock folds the story threads around until we see how Dorian’s tale of dark choice overlaps with Toby’s surprise early memories of Dorian and makes it all work without breaking any continuity already established.


We were pleased and surprised when we first heard there would be a new Dorian Gray release, and it’s a great way to mark ten years at Big Finish. For a range that ‘ended’ several years ago with the fifth boxset of Confessions, we have to say the occasional revisits are great ways to bring the series back as and when.

Will there be more? We hope so. Is this worth listening to? If you’re already a fan, the answer is obvious (and you’ve no doubt long since purchased your copy). The format and style of storytelling works well as a one-off, and plenty of credit to all those involved.


You can buy the download version of The Confessions of Dorian Gray: The Anniversary now from Big Finish and it includes the obligatory behind the scenes interviews and a bonus story read by Vlahos — Gray Matters. It’s priced (currently) at £8.99. Vinyl copies cost £17.99, but add in the courier delivery fee of £10!