It is a bit hard to work out why they have this sign outside of the Aberdeen Angus Steak House in Soho. Perhaps they now are selling tube steak. Then again, nothing like a bit of saucy humour to take your mind off what they pass for the menu...
David McVicar's oddly modern production of Rigoletto is back at the Royal Opera House . This modern and minimalist dark production has evolved over the years. It is better lit now but there is still an orgy and full frontal nudity within the first thirty minutes. This enables anyone not in the stalls an excellent view of a flaccid penis and a nicely shaved bush. But as time goes it seems more and more superfluous to the main focus of this tragedy of a court jester who seeks revenge. Here is hoping that the production continues to evolve... Conductor John Eliot Gardiner keeps the music well paced. Dimitri Platanias in the title role sounded great and received a rapturous applause for his interpretation of the role. You get a sense more of the doting father rather than the court jester or cursed man here. Vittorio Grigolo plays the Duke and sounds too lovely to be the cad the role calls for, but it is hard not to like when he is on stage anyway. And it is easier to understan
Nowadays no self-respecting gay play can be staged without full frontal nudity of some kind. It feels like the default response for the modern gay play now that gay rights are no longer an issue . Afterglow, currently playing at Southwark Playhouse , serves it up in spades. From the beginning, three men are in a bed, naked. There’s what appears to be a very brief exhalation of ecstasy, before the obligatory rush to the shower. But the gratuitous nudity and excellent performances can’t conceal this is a pretty conventional and predictable story about a fantasy couple. The three men in the simultaneous orgasm at the start of the piece are Josh, Alex and Darius. Josh and Alex seem to live in a New York world where they can afford a rooftop apartment in Manhattan while holding jobs as a theatre director and a grad student in chemistry. As writer S. Asher Gelman based it on his own experiences, perhaps gay plays with full frontal nudity are the way to achieve financial security
Iranian-Canadian musical theater actor Ramin Karimloo is known for his work in the West End, performing in The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables, as well as debuting the role of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera sequel, Love Never Dies. Recently he finished a run playing Valjean in Les Miserables on Broadway and gained attention for not just his vocals but his physical strength. He is back in London and getting ready for a show (tonight) at the Palladium on 16 July. Later in the year he will be joining Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and Kerry Ellis in UK premiere of the off-Broadway musical Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre. The Palladium show will be another opportunity to see Ramin and his band mix country and bluegrass with musical theatre (and vice-versa), after sellout shows at Islington’s Union Chapel in January. I sat down with Ramin shortly after his return to London. We talked about the shows, his fitness regime and how he is looking for a goo