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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

The elixir of Grigolo: L'elisir d'amore @TheRoyalOpera

Vittorio Grigolo in L'elisir d'amore © ROH.Mark Douet, 2014 Two star performances by Vittorio Grigolo and Bryn Terfel make this current production of L'elisir d'amore at the Royal Opera so exciting and damn funny.

Grigolo bounces around the stage with such energy, enthusiasm and vocal power that makes this production a real treat.

His Nemorino, the naive village boy besotted with farm owner Adina, really conveys the hope and longing (and the touch of silliness) that this piece requires.

Adina, played by Lucy Crowe has a lovely vocal tone and can act too. Perhaps she seems to nice to ever be so cruel to reject Grigolo's boisterous advances.

Bryn Terfel as the quack doctor Dulcamara who offers a love potion to Nemorino to help win Adina's heart has a great voice but perhaps not the first person to think of for this comic role. He seemed tentative on Tuesday in his opening moments. But by the second half he was deftly handling both the comedy and the music and looked like he was having a hell of time.

Matching the energy onstage was conductor Daniele Rustioni keeping the orchestra light and swift

An irresistible treat that had the audience laughing and cheering throughout.

Performances run until 13 December and the production will also be filmed and screened live on 26 November as part of the live cinema season.  Catch it if you can.

****


Photo credit: Royal Opera Mark Douet

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