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Showing posts with the label Joshua George Smith

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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

Panto at the sofa: The Legend of Moby Dick Whittington @wesleepingtrees

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If you’re missing live theatre and missing live panto, Sleeping Trees have come up with an ingenious way to bring the spirit of panto season to your living room or your makeshift office (if you’re not casting it on television). The Legend of Moby Dick Whittington isn’t a show for couch potatoes either as you’ll find yourself throwing things at your telly or making a ship out of a sofa. And my household agreed that at fifty minutes long it has more laughs than series four of the Crown.  The premise is that Dick Whittington having defeated King Rat, is Mayor of London. And during his first Christmas Santa is eaten by a large white wale. And so with the help of Dr Arab, a marine biologist they find the Whale, and get out Santa and save Christmas. Sleeping Trees have a history of turning traditional pantomimes on their head. Previous shows included Cinderella and the Beanstalk and Scrooge and the Seven Dwarves . Now with The Legend of Moby Dick Whittington, they can use the magic of reco

Meanwhile in Battersia: Scrooge and the Seven Dwarves @theatre503

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There is a scene in the early part of Scrooge and The Seven Dwarves at Theatre 503 where Santa appears and asks the children in the audience what they want for Christmas. "A butler" replies one. You know you're in Battersea with responses like that. But this isn't just a panto that you get your nanny to take the children to while shopping on Kings Road. The Sleeping Trees have again fused fairy tale and Christmas stories to create an anarchic panto tale about Christmas. With lashings of silliness to boot it may not be a traditional panto, but it is still a lot of fun.

Three men and a panto: Cinderella and the Beanstalk @Theatre503 @wesleepingtrees

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If there is one way  to write a pantomime , Cinderella and The Beanstalk by Sleeping Trees at Theatre 503 tears up any rulebook.   It is a crazy little show full of as many pantomime or nursery rhyme characters. The end result is a frenzied and funny take on the pantomime and Christmas traditions. The premise of the show is that James, Joshua and George have written a script, booked a venue and hired one lonely musician (in the form of  Mark Newnham ). But they have forgotten one small thing. Hiring any actors. After checking that it is alright with the audience (who are we to say no?), they decide that they are going to have to perform all the roles themselves.