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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

Events: Snow Patrol at the O2


One of the great things about London is the range of sensible and not so sensible events on offer at any time of the year. All you need is a decent London Guide to start planning things. A frosty Saturday evening seemed very appropriate to catch Snow Patrol's second of three sellout concerts at the O2.

Snow Patrol are best categorised as an alternative rock group from Northern Island via Scotland (where they originally formed), but they have evolved to be firmly in the mainstream fare and ensuring mega stardom. That isn't such a bad thing as an audience of 15,000 singing (surprisingly in tune) the chorus of their song Run is certainly an experience to take in. It is also amazing to see the glow from hundreds of camera phones across the venue recording footage like the clip above. Given you can't smoke indoors anymore, they are the modern equivalent of the lighter wave.


All their big hits featured in Snow Patrol's 100 minute show, along with music from their new album Fallen Empires. It was fairly simple staging that was supplemented by projections and a moving lights and a giant snowflake. But the main thing was the music.

There was a little cute repartee as lead singer Gary Lightbody paid tribute to his mother and his four year old niece in the audience. It was the second show for his niece and he was sure she was going to get tinnitus. He also wore (briefly) an animal hat that was offered to him by someone in the front row. It was an unusual look for a rock star, but then again it was that sort of night out.

The O2 is a great venue for concerts as they sound great and they look great too. The venue gets better every time I visit with more bars and restaurants and developments opening up nearby, and it is less than 20 minutes from Westminster tube station.

Also f you can get a seat in one of the VIP lounges it's even better as you get your own dedicated slave barman, coat check, an area to chill out, and a few more dining options.  And if you're not staying at one of the nearby hotels and have to face getting the Jubilee line home, you're closer to the exit than everyone else... Of course the tube ride home was an opportunity to get close to the fans of the group. But the burning question I had for them was why they all looked like they dressed themselves from charity bins? Surely the music can't be blamed for that...

As an added bonus for the evening, one of the support acts was indie group Everything Everything, who with their catchy beats and dreamy music won quite a few new fans and were worth getting there early to see...

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