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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

Cough medicine: Quiz

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You don’t often expect to go to a show where coughing during the performance is essential part of it. James Graham’s Quiz at Noel Coward Theatre elevates a minor moment in history into a melodrama fit for television. The story is around the trial of Charles and Diana Ingram who were convicted of trying to defraud the quiz show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” in 2003. Mostly through a series of well-timed coughs. Cameras roll, music roars, the mob votes on little gizmos. There’s even a nod to the humble pub quiz as its origins. It is fun. But it’s also a night that leaves you thinking about another quiz show. Pointless. The production is drunk on the television gimmicks it’s trying to critique. The glamour of television, instant polls and dazzling lighting.  All come at the expense of character development and a convincing argument about confirmation bias. You get a chance to vote on whether they’re guilty twice. Once before interval and once at the end. It’s set up to get people to be