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The male gaze: Turning the screw

It's been a while since trips to the theatre. I've been busy. But it's nice to see that it's the creative process that is at the heart of Kevin Kelly's Turning the Screw. And what gives rise to it. It's a dramatisation of the creative process leading up to composer Benjamin Britten's premiere of his opera, The Turning of the Screw. With deadlines approaching, Britten seems stuck over melodies and unsure about completing the piece for its summer premiere. But the selection of twelve-year-old choirboy David Hemmings in the leading role of Miles within the opera is the spark that motivates him to complete the piece. And his presence may stir other feelings, too. It's currently playing at the Kings Head Theatre .  Britten's fascination with young boys has been the subject of a detailed book, Britten's Children. The book suggests that Britten saw himself as a young boy of 13. It's almost as if he saw himself as Peter Pan, albeit if Peter Pan was a

Swinging and projecting: Soho @PeacockTheatre #sohotheshow

A journey through London's soho with its street workers, artists, drag queens and everyday people is the theme of Soho. It is a  physical movement spectacular at the Peacock Theatre for a brief run.

Acrobats, dance and projections combine with a throbbing soundtrack to make for a breathtaking evening.

At times there is so much going on that it's hard to know where to look. But it's a slick piece of circus artisty and projections

It's a great ensemble with a mix of different circus specialists and dance experts.

There's martial artist Anton Simpson-Tidy, hip hop dancer hair-ography expert Kayla Lomas-Kirton. Alessio Motta serves as the everyman of the piece but also wows the audience with a thrilling performance on the Chinese pole. Big guy Charlee Rico DeBolla has some great scenes flexing his beefcake and showing off on the aerial straps.

Aerial tissue and drag artist Danny Ash should get a special achievement for singing while hanging upside down and struggling with a wig.

But Xander Taylor and Mélanie Dupuis steal the show with a romantic and gravity defying performance on the doubles trapeze.

The soundtrack is a mixtape of old and new music featuring the Sex Pistols, Bowie, Daft Punk and Etta James. It's pulled together with new compositions by Peter Coyte.

Perhaps it goes on for a bit. Not all the projections and lighting highlighted the work of the performers. The intermission seemed to interrupt the flow of the evening. And it would have been fun to have a segment on the clone shops and luxury developments changing the face of Soho.

But it's better to say its a circus in Soho.  Directed by Abigail Yates, Soho is at the Peacock Theatre until 20 May.


Photos by Stufish.

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