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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

Flying away: My Dad's Gap Year @ParkTheatre


Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel and fly out to Thailand. To hell with the consequences. At first. So is the premise In My Dad's Gap Year. But while some of the plot points might be as suspicious as the sexual antics on stage, there's a lot of heart and great performances in this piece. Written by Tom Wright, it's having its world premiere at Park Theatre.

Dave (Adam Lannon) is having a mid-life crisis. And he drinks too much. His wife Cath (Michelle Collins) has left him and is uptight teenage gay son, William (Alex Britt) is trying to enter the world of work. So what better way to get over it all by heading off to Thailand? Beside's it's supposed to be William's gap year. So why can't dad join in?

Along the way Dave falls for Mae (Victoria Gigante), who runs the bar at the beach. And there's a sexy lifesaver Matias (Max Percy) who is about to open William's eyes to a whole new world.

What at first seems to be a wild funny hedonistic romp at sex clubs and bars gives way to something much more substantial. This is not just some beautiful thing coming of age gay romance. Addiction, loneliness and discrimination (even among the LGBT+ community) are explored in thoughtful and insightful ways.

The ensemble work well together and the writing gives each of them a unique voice. The design of a raised stage and pit also gave the performers space to create for us the time and place.

The piece won't be to all tastes. The disclaimer outside the theatre didn't prepare everyone for the "adult sexual themes".  After a few full and frank scenes there were a few walk outs. But for those that like their theatre a bit provocative, a bit sexy and a bit fresh, this show is hard to beat.

Directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair, My Dad's Gap Year is at Park Theatre until 23 February.



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