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The male gaze: Turning the screw

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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

Where nobody's dared to go: Xanadu @swkplay

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Xanadu , currently playing at the Southwark Playhouse takes the format of musical based on a movie and sends it up mercilessly, but the high energy levels and sheer enthusiasm from this cast make it more than just a cheap show. Usually musicals based on a movie (or a jukebox) have source material that was loved or respected. Xanadu did not have that. It seemed to be a showcase Olivia Newton-John's limited acting (and dancing) abilities. The occasional cheap effect could not conceal that looked as if it was staged in a supermarket. And shot mostly at eye level meant that none of the dance sequences could really be seen anyway. Over the years it developed a cult following among those who appreciated it for being "so bad it is actually good”. It was also Gene Kelly’s final film so how bad could it really be?