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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

Topical Manhandling: Red Velvet @BranaghTheatre

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Red Velvet tells the story of Ira Aldridge , a black actor who plays Othello at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden in 1833. It's fascinating to watch Adrian Lester , playing a man playing Othello. And it's evocative seeing the drama unfold in a theatre close to the period that it adds to the drama. The piece is set at the Theatre Royal Covent Garden in 1833. Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, collapses on stage while playing Othello. As a result of too much hard living. His son who is playing Iago expects to step up into the role. But impresario Pierre Laporte gives the role to Aldridge, who had been touring in London.