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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

No country for old men: The Ice Cream Boys @JSTheatre

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America has Trump, Britain has Boris, and South Africa had Jacob Zuma. Old men fade from power and eventually die, and no skeleton is left in the closet in the Ice Cream Boys by Gail Louw. For ninety minutes, they bitch and moan about the state of their country and the path their lives have taken. It just so happens that one of the men is Jacob Zuma, former President of South Africa. The other is Ronnie Kasrils, former Minister for Intelligence Services and critic of Zuma. It sets out in a breathtaking edge-of-your-seat way, both a historical and personal account of the struggles of the country. Full of passion and fire, it's currently playing at the Jermyn Street Theatre . The two men meet by chance in a hospital. Kasrils (Jack Klaff) is there to have a melanoma removed. Zuma (Andrew Francis) is there to have his prostate checked. They are in adjacent rooms tended to by a young nurse, Thandi, who lives in a township some distance away (Bu Kunene). For those familiar wit

Guns and roses: But It Still Goes On @Finborough

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Repressed homosexuality, sham marriages, vengeful lesbians and global chaos. What’s comforting about Robert Graves’s But It Still Goes On is how little things have changed since the interwar period. Well perhaps there’s less repressed homosexuality nowadays in London. Written in 1929 it’s having a belated world premiere at the Finborough Theatre until 4 August. Part comedy, part tragedy-melodrama the action focuses on the family of Cecil Tompion (Jack Klaff). A popular and hard-living writer whose children have lived in his shadow. He left their mother for a woman who gave his work better reviews. His son, Dick (Alan Cox) survived the trenches but remains haunted by a gun he used to kill a soldier. Daughter Dorothy (Rachel Pickup) is a doctor and marries Dick’s best friend David (Victor Gardener). Trouble is that David’s in love with Dick. Or should that be just dick? And when Dorothy’s friend Charlotte (Sophie Ward) isn’t in love with Dorothy she’s in love with Dick too. It’s frank de