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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: The UN Inspector

On Tuesday evening as a diversion from waiting for news on other matters, A took me to see The UN Inspector at the National Theatre. Well first we went for tapas at Meson Don Felipe where after a bite to eat washed down with sangria it certainly put one in the mind for a silly sort of comedy update of Gogol's "The Government Inspector".

This version was set in a Ukrainian-style country where an English conman was mistaken for a UN inspector looking into the country's human rights record. Michael Sheen was quite funny as the bumbling English conman but every once in a while the comedy ground to a halt when someone's tongue was ripped out, or people were killed. A little bit too black and not enough comedy perhaps. Also at nearly three hours, it tended to drag a bit.

Geraldine James as the President's wife was also particularly amusing, although A suggested that Jewel in the Crown and Gandhi were the days of her better work, but I suggested her best work surely has to be in the second series of Little Britain where she breast feeds her son (aged forty)… Well, it is a popular show here anyway.

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