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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: I Love You Because...



Not content with seeing just Hairspray this week, on Wednesday I went with John to see I Love You Because... at the Landor Theatre in Clapham. The Landor is a bit of an oasis in a cultural desert known as Landor road that is better known for the number of local youths with ASBOs and shops converted into bedsits. A pity since the show has been drawing in the crowds from across London that they have nowhere to spend their money before or after the show... Still it is my local theatre pub so the thought of seeing something that was really good at it was even more of a reason to get there...

The show is a quirky off-Broadway New York show that is actually pretty darn good. I have had the cast album for some months now, but hadn't given it much thought until Wednesday because let's face it, dramatic context helps. It helps allow for some of the more curious artistic choices (such as writing a song that prominently features a barista). The show charts the life and loves of the four central characters and being a sucker for any sort of character-driven show it held my undivided attention. It held the rest of the audience's attention too, particularly since the first song opens with a shower scene with the lead character. Alas there is no nudity as it is all just smoke, tight pants and a plastic shower curtain. Nevertheless the show was so entertaining and well acted that it was hard to be too disappointed by anything on offer... even the man boobs...

It finishes Saturday but hopefully it will have another life soon. Returning to the tube John and I were confronted with one of the locals on Landor road who has eschewed the need to beg and just started shouting at anybody who passed "GIMMAAHPUND!" and "AAAAH NEEDA PUND!" and "APUND! APUND!". Having recognised him in a previous street begging scenes across SW London I didn't think much of it, but John suggested to him he would need more than one pound to get good elocution lessons... We were leaving the Oasis indeed... Still, having seen a show where a rickshaw peddler picks up an actuary I was willing to belive anything was possible...

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