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Showing posts from March, 2021

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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

Stream of conscious: Black Matter

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With theatre's closed over the past year and creatives out of work, it's not surprising to see that with everything going on, there's plenty to write about. Or put into a song cycle. Actor Giles Terera presents his new song cycle Black Matter inspired by the events he saw on London's streets in a streamed concert event this month.  Living in London's Soho over the past summer of lockdown, Black Lives Matter, Eat Out To Help Out provided plenty of inspiration for observations about being a black man in Britain today. He notes that "I saw Soho shift from deserted tranquillity, where the only sounds were birds and church bells to the noise and heat of demands for social justice and civil unrest. I saw couples and families sneaking bike rides, and I saw violence – protests and peacemakers, homelessness and empty properties. People helping each other and people hurting each other. I saw confusion and hope and strength." The topics vary from deportations and th

Random doubts and gaslighting: Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels

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Sending a semi-naked photo to a boyfriend sets off a chain reaction of events between two women in Athena Steven's Late Night Staring at High Res Pixels . Is it a case of overthinking everything or is some power game at play? Writer Athena Steven's has repurposed her play into a streamed online event split into mini-episodes released every night over February. Now that we're in March, you don't have to deal with the suspense of waiting for the next instalment, and you can binge it all in one sitting online. It feels like a part drama, part theatre at home and part paranoia. The story unfolds through monologues from the two women. They don't have names other than the girlfriend (Evelyn Lockley) and the best friend (Stevens). What brings them together is a man who turns out to be bringing out their darker side. They begin to question everything, and what slowly emerges is a tale of power and control.  It's imaginatively captured on stream on the YouTube platform.