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Eternal guilt: Dorian The Musical @SWKplay

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Dorian is a new musical that updates Oscar Wilde’s gothic novel from the uptight Victorian era to an undetermined period of gender fluidity and glam rock. On paper, musicalising the Picture of Dorian Gray to a period of glam rock, social media, and cheap shoes seems like a good idea. After all, Oscar Wilde’s gothic story is very adaptable. It has been the source of countless adaptations for the stage, television or movies. I was half expecting a trashy Dorian, similar to the early 1980s telemovie that shifted Dorian’s gender to a woman. This version falls into a so bad it’s good category with Anthony Perkins in a lead role, who as he ages under makeup starts to look like Andy Warhol.  And while it’s great to see a new show, a strong cast can’t compensate for such an earnest production with underpowered songs. There’s no sense of fun, and some curious staging and costume choices  -mismatched dresses, crocodile boots and furry suits - serve as a distraction. It’s currently playing at th
Theatre: Tick Tick Boom!

Caught the show Tick Tick Boom at the Menier Chocolate Factory on Thursday night. It is a soft rock chamber musical (to give it some sort of category) telling the story of a struggling musical theatre writer who is just about to turn thirty and is wondering what he is doing with his life. Now that's something I can almost relate to, and probably explained why I was happy to overlook the shaggy story at times which veered into the standard issue story of relationships, life lessons and so and and so on.

It also helped that that the production was fantastic. It looked and sounded great. The icing on the cake was the three leads as well. Neil Patrick Harris (who once found fame as Doogie Howser MD), Cassidy Janson and Tee Jaye were the cast and made the show work so well.
Neil Patrick Harris has an amazing sublime voice and Cassidy Janson and Tee Jaye were just as good.

The show was written by Jonathan Larson prior to writing "Rent" who died just before the latter show opened and went on to fame and fortune. While it wasn't the most engaging story (or at times very good music) this production certainly brought out the best of the material and was just terrific. Scott Schwartz (son of composer Stephen) directed.

The reviews have been good so hopefully it will get the punters down to London Bridge to this great venue. The theatre is very large but it is a good size for this sort of show and well worth the hike out of theatreland...

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