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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

Still got it suckers: Chicago @Phoenix_Ldn

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Corruption, greed and murder never seem to go out of style in Chicago. The Kander and Ebb musical returns to the West End’s Phoenix Theatre after a six year hiatus.  It’s pretty much the same show that burst onto the scene in the late 1990s. Back even though it was a revival people saw it resonate with the trial of OJ Simpson. Twenty years on the President of the United States is purportedly a urophiliac. Hookers and porn stars paid off as fast as a the National Enquirer can catch and kill a story.  And you no longer have to be good or competent to rise to the top. Everything old seems new again.  And this show is still a hell of a ride. With the sexy costumes and choreography “in the style of Bob Fosse”, the show oozes sex, rhythm and sensuality.  If you’re not familiar with the show other than the gelded movie with Richard Gere and Catherine Zeta-Jones you’re in for a treat.  If you’ve seen it all before you can lie back and enjoy the performances by Sarah Soetaert and Josefina Gabr