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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

Missing live theatre or The Death of England: Delroy

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Seeing the first instalment of Death of England at the National Theatre by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams seems like a lifetime ago. But it was only February. There in the smaller Dorfman Theatre 450 of use crammed into the intimate space to watch a piece about identity, race and class in Britain. Fast forward nine months of the pandemic, with lockdowns, excess deaths, Black Lives Matter, and "clapping for carers" we're back at the National. But this time around it's a black man who is talking about identity, race and class. And this time everyone is sitting apart wearing masks.  Even watching in the socially distanced space of the Olivier, it did not diminish the power of what the show has to say. The Olivier has been reconfigured to a theatre in the round seating up to 500. But with signs throughout the theatre reminding everyone to keep their “social-racial-distance”, you were never far away from being reminded that all is not well either in the state of the theatre

The eighties are calling: The Ocean At The End of The Lane @NationalTheatre

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The Dorfman Theatre at the National is transformed into a thicket of imagination (and a few scares) in this brisk and evocative adaptation of Neil Gaiman's book of the same name by Joel Horwood. Even if you're unfamiliar with the book, this production directed by Katy Rudd, quickly establishes a strange and unusual world. And not just because it was set in 1983 when T-shirts were always pastel colours and hair had to have a perm. With a strong cast and endless theatrical tricks, you'll find yourself enthralled in its exploration around how people remember the past and the blurring of reality and fantasy that come with memories and time. Opening with a funeral, a man returns to his hometown and stops by the place where he remembers a girl called Lettie who he knew as a young man. There he encounters her grandmother again and soon is transported back to the time when they knew each other as a boy, which just so happens to be the early 1980s. The boy (Samuel Blenki

Wherever I lay my hat: The Motherfucker With The Hat @NationalTheatre #Mofohat

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Addiction, sex, rehab and other filthy words make up this high energy play by Stephen Adly Guirgis which has been running since June at the National Theatre … The Motherfucker With The Hat has potentially been a drawback as a title since it prevents people from fully explaining the play and what it is about in so-called family or decent publications. But my blog is not one of those. Jackie, a small time (and not very good) dope dealer is just out of jail and he has got a job, he is sober and his life is looking up. He is about to catch up with his girlfriend for and afternoon of sex, when he notices a hat in the room. It’s a man’s hat and it is not his. He checks the hat. He smells the hat. He checks the unmade bed and then he smells the bed... For the next one hour forty-five minutes as his life unravels, there are a series of hilarious scenes and interplay between the characters on stage. And an awful lot of filthy words. It is a terrific cast although you get the sense it mus

Death becomes him: Everyman @NationalTheatre

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Judgement day and getting taken to the cleaners takes on a new meaning in this spectacular new take on the classic fifteenth century morality play Everyman at the National Theatre with Chiwetel Ejiofor . It feels like every theatrical trick is deployed during the roughly ninety minutes it takes for one man to account for his life. There  is a giant video screen, dazzling lights, a urinating penis prop. It’s all terrific stuff and an awe inspiring updating of the tale to modern and secular London.