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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

On my own: Chess @LondonColiseum

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The Cold War, phoney Americans, thoughtful Russians and the game of chess. All all backdrops in Chess the musical . It’s a curious rock opera about everyone out to make it on their own. And to hell with anyone who gets in their way.  It’s playing a limited run at the home of the English National Opera’s London Coliseum. Written by Tim Rice with music by ABBA’s Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus, maybe it is a show about solitude.  I t is a must see for ABBA fans. It allows you to wonder what the band might have sounded like if they carried on into the eighties with its rock ballads and intricate melodies.  It’s the first West End production of Chess in 32 years. And while the show has had many changes over the years, it works best when it flashes its early eighties origins. It looks gorgeous with its neon-inspired outlines and large projections. Adding the forces of the English National Opera Orchestra and chorus it sounds sublime.  But even paring the story back with minimal dialogue co