Showing posts from November, 2007

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Eternal guilt: Dorian The Musical @SWKplay

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: La Cage Aux Folles

271120072894 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . Sometimes you can't keep a good polyester down... First preview at the Chocolate Factory the curtain had a mind of its own. And so did the costumes... Sitting in front row I got a lap full of beads during a particularly vigorous number... Then there was the occasional firm grip of Philip Quast on my shoulder... Was all this intimate production of Jerry Herman's big gay musical worth it? Well as a musical it is a pretty dated show. It isn't called La Cage Awful for nothing. Back in the eighties it was no doubt all very daring so you could probably overlook the incoherent story and weak characterisations. On the plus side (and unlike the new Priscilla musical that will be making it's way to London) it is an original musical and not some jukebox of crap disco tracks. And it has a few nice numbers. In this production where I was sitting so close to the stage in such an intimate space there were a few nice touch

Scenes from an office kitchen Thursday

221120072880 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . Office tip: Don't defrost your soup in front of colleagues. They may make interesting comments about it...

Rehearsals: All Week

I was informed this week that gay men are famous for their taste in clothes and interior design, but definitely not their music. When I suggested that it wasn't all that bad and that I was rehearsing the song "True Colours" they said that only proves their point. Well whatever the merits or otherwise of the song, I am singing it with twelve other men from the chorus for the Accentuate The Positive concert. This week we workshopped how it would play out... Complete with choreography... I can never tell how these things sound or look but since nobody was screaming "Oh the horror, the horror!" that can be only a good thing (in fact we were getting compliments on it)... Mind you, after singing and moving for three hours True Colours my mind started to wander about the lyrics... You who are oversize Don't be discouraged With your thunder thighs It's hard when your obese... The rest of the week was rehearsals too... Hmm this singing is becoming a bit of a lif

Scenes from Ausralia House 17 November

171120072869 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . Voting in Australia is a favourite pasttime. Voting often (in the same election) is also popular so they ask you if you have voted before... Still not as many people were around to vote this time as there was in 2004, and there were no lamingtons in sight . Maybe they realised it wasn't going to be close with Kevin07 ... Particularly with an amazingly dud campaign by the Coalition

Overheard at the Tower of London

161120072792 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . American Boy: Mum, what's torture American Mother: That's when you hurt someone to get information from them American Boy: Oh... Is it justified? American Mother: Yes I think it is in some circumstances...

Hot News in London this week

South London Depress , originally uploaded by Ronald Hackston . According to the South London Press , the ritual dog-burning in Streatham takes place every Tuesday. Sometimes they mix it up a little and put it in a car on fire...

London is changing indeed...

Took a quick look at St Pancras station which opens later this week as the new Eurostar terminal... Looks rather good but rather than show my photos I thought it would be much nicer to show the current ad campaign from France...

Scenes from Lewisham Friday evening

091120072732 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . London is home to much wild life... Pigeons, squirrels, foxes and shopping trolleys can all be seen on its streets... This one looks like it has come from a giant Tesco (it was that sort of neighbourhood)...

Theatre: Boeing Boeing

Tuesday evening I got the chance to finally catch Boeing Boeing which has been playing since the start of this year at the Comedy Theatre in West End. It was also a chance for Grant , a fellow Australian just off the boat, to also see his first West End show. I told him that if he got the tickets at the TKTS booth I would treat him to the London Gay Men's Chorus concert next month. This seemed like a fair swap and helps with my duty as a cult chorus member to keep up my ticket selling quota... I was also tempted to say "Mwah" at this point but I keep telling people that it will be a good show... Anything with Johnny Mercer and Donna Summer music in it can't be all bad. Anyway I digress... As luck would have it, on Tuesday evening there were a few problems with the tube. So after a bit of an underground adventure, followed by a run through Leicester Square, we missed the opening of the show. By being a few minutes late we were prevented by the ushers from taking ou

Overheard in the gym sauna Tuesday...

Man #1: It's not very hot eh? Man #2: Nah... Man #1: I'm gonna take a shower... Man #2: Yeah okay...

Scenes from the O2 in Greenwich Sunday

041120072709 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . Once ridiculed as an expensive and stupid white elephant, the Milennium Dome or rather the O2 as it is now called is very popular with people flocking from all over London to visit the chain restaurants and marvel at the chilly indoor breezes... Oh and there is the occasional concert there too...

Movies: Rendition

One of the most interesting things about my visit to Australia over the summer was how a man was locked up for the entire duration of my stay without charge in Brisbane while I was there. This sort of drama wasn't on my mind when I strongly suggested that Rendition would make an excellent Sunday evening film, rather it was the fact Jake Gyllenhaal was in it. The premise of the film is that an Egyptian national (and scientist) living in America and married to Reese Witherspoon is suspected of aiding terrorists, so on a flight back to Chicago from Cape Town disappears and is whisked off to an unnamed North African country to get interrogated. The aim of this extraordinary rendition is to try and find out what he knows about a series of suicide bombings that have recently become more sophisticated. Meanwhile, the lead interrogator is trying to find out more information about a failed suicide bombing mission where he was the target. But to the main story, once Meryl Streep (who plays

Scenes from Clapham Friday evening...

021120072699 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . After an evening of staring at the sky watching fireworks on Clapham Common, one couldn't help but keep looking up for the remainder of the evening noticing such strange things as oval shaped lights in gay bars...