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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

Art in a dark moist place: David Breuer-Weil's Project 4

David Breuer-Weil from Guy Natanel on Vimeo.

London-based artist David Breuer-Weil has taken over the vaults under Waterloo Station with Project 4, an evocative and thought-provoking exhibition about the world, the apocalypse and other social and political considerations. Nothing is small scale here. Everything is big. Most of his paintings are two metres high and four metres long. One giant canvas follows another and as you are drawn into the tunnels under Waterloo Station, they come together to form an impressive spectacle of colour. Interspersed amongst these is Breuer-Weil's sculptures which give the works an added dimension and physicality.

Many Londoners will be familiar with his works, particularly his sculpture. Emergence (see below after the jump) was temporarily installed into Hanover Square in 2012 and Visitor has previously been seen in Golders Hill Park, Hampstead.

Placing the works (and there is 70 canvasses and a number of sculptures) in the cold, rumbling and dark tunnels underneath Waterloo station they appear the perfect setting for exploring these themes. The works feel as if they emerge from the Victorian brickwork, shadows and puddles and are beautifully lit.

The works are for sale although given their size they are probably not for the average home. Even large offices might find it difficult to find the hanging space. In addition the subject matter which shows depictions of the apocalypse, violence and people without brains might not be the sort of message that a big bank would be keen on showing to its clients or workers.

The last time I was here was for the Old Vic Vaults festival and amongst the old furniture and dirty cushions, theatre and opera sprang up from the most unlikeliest of places. This time around there is an order, beauty and calmness about the area. Visiting the space again in the week when it was announced the Old Vic Tunnels would be closing in March, it was a reminder that while places may come and go, good ideas will always find a place to exist. And besides, there are many more miles of railway arches in South London...

The exhibition continues until 1 March. Worth a diversion down Leake Street off Lower Marsh to see what all the fuss is about... It is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm. Be sure to check out the Lower Marsh Market if you're visiting on a weekday too...

Update:David Breuer Weil’s Project 4 has been so popular that the exhibition has been extended until Sunday 24th March. There will also be a giveaway of a signed catalogue raissoné to the 5000th visitor. Curator-led tours will take place at 2.30pm on Saturday 9th and Saturday 23rd March and the exhibition will stay open until 9pm on Thursday 21st March.

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