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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

More towels please: Soap @UnderbellyFest

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Circus acts as part of the Underbelly Festival on the Southbank are always a highlight of the programme. Adding bathtubs, water and a hint of nudity is definitely a winning formula. And it makes for good clean fun (this show is aimed at all ages). Soap which originated in Germany has been touring around the world. But for the first time it’s in the round in the Spiegeltent. The effect pushes you right up close to the action. So close that you can see the muscles tense and flex on the performers. The cast run through a variety of bath-time themed circus feats. There’s Vanessa Alvarez as a foot juggler of bath towels and guitars. Anton Belyakov thrills with handstand on what appears to be a very slippery Villeroy and Boch bathtub. Lena Ries contorts within one. Adem Endris juggles on top of one. Daniel Stern rises above one on straps. And Moritz Haase wows with a thrilling Trapeze finale as water rains down from above. Marie-Andrée Lemaire is on hand for comic relief. And Jennifer Linds