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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

Bleak house: SAD @OmnibusTheatre

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I get home from seeing SAD at the Omnibus Theatre on the weekend, and a friend is over. "What did you see?" She asked. "Well, I saw a play about a woman who locked herself away in an attic after accidentally killing her mother over Christmas with an overcooked turkey. Meanwhile, the neighbour comes through the skylight for unsatisfying booty calls, and her husband brings up ham sandwiches." I guess sometimes you really can make things up. Victoria Willing's new work weaves together four characters searching for life and meaning as they realise life has passed them by so far despite a series of challenging events.  It's challenging to work out is a black comedy or just a very depressing story about life in London in January. That's the time of the year when the days are short, the parties are over, and the only thing to keep people motivated is some pointless New Years' resolution. But if you have a warped sense of humour, you'll probably enjoy th

Bang pop kapow: Big Guns @YardTheatre

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 It's bad enough walking about the back streets of Hackney alone on a quiet mid-week evening without having to worry about a man with a gun. But after seeing Big Guns at The Yard Theatre that's all I was thinking about. The man with a gun features a lot in writer Nina Segal's piece. It's part fear and part celebration of a culture of violence. Actually it is mostly fear. With a backdrop of pop culture references, pornography, terrorism, milkshakes and popcorn. It's all topical as the banter moves between one violent act and the next. It is a two hander and opens with Two (Debra Baker) and One (Jessy Romeo) sitting in what could be a cinema. Wearing 3D glasses and stuffing their faces with popcorn.