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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: Epitahph For George Dillon

I spent the week catching up on a few things about to finish. One of these being Epitaph for George Dillon, which is a revival of a John Osborne / Anthony Creighton play starring Joseph Feinnes. It was a fascinating play that has held up well since the 1950s when it was written. When Feinnes walked in you could hear a collective swoon from the female members of the audience. I wasn't quite sure why as sitting in second row I could see he doesn't have any lips. Of course the makeup he had on accentuated this feature, he walked with a hunch, and the character he played wasn't such a nice chap, but obviously none of that mattered to the rest of the audience.

The central message of the play seemed to be that it is fine to be a bohemian in suburbia as at least it pays the bills. Oh and marry somebody you don't really like as well. It is not surprising the play was written by two closeted bitchy queens who certainly knew how to write great one-liners, but they also created a great snapshot of middle class life in 1950s London. All entertaining stuff.

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