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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: Postcards From God - The Sister Wendy Musical

Friday night I had the chance to see at Hackney Empire studio Postcards from God - The Sister Wendy Musical. Written by London Gay Men's Chorus member Marcus Reeves, it tells the story of the rise to fame of a nun - Sister Wendy Beckett - and her love of art. I pretended to recall the Sister Wendy phenomenon of the nineties when Marcus asked me at a rehearsal last year "You remember Sister Wendy?" But the reality was that the phenomena passed me by. Fortunately there is enough on Youtube to enable anyone to brush up on her life and her passion for Poussin.

The musical featuring Gay Soper in the title role as Sister Wendy Beckett covers her life from contemplative hermit to celebrity art critic. Part of the fun in watching this show is when the art she talks about comes to life. I would have preferred the focus to remain solely on Sister Wendy, Soper's terrific performance, and less of the side characters (and giving her much more to do throughout), but there are the makings of a great musical here.

The show runs until the end of the month and you can also join the Facebook groupies called Wendy's Frendies. Tickets are from £5 too... Enough to make anyone want to venture to Hackney... The bar there is great too...

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