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Showing posts with the label Rob Houchen

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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

Holding out for a hero: Eugenius @TheOtherPalace

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You get the sense you’re witnessing the birth of a new cu lt musical at Eugenius. Some audience members appear to know the choreography, songs and b ad jokes in advance of those experiencing it for the first time. And this isn’t such a bad thing. Particularly with its supercharged cast and uplifting eighties-inspired soundtrack this show rocks. It’s back at The Other Palace after a successful run earlier this year.  The book music and lyrics are by Ben Adams and Chris Wilkins. The songs are inspired with their upbeat eighties sound. Keyboards, sax solos and electric guitars abound. And there are a mix of ballads and hilarious songs to keep things irresistible. But they have to compete with a convoluted story seems like a mash up of Blood Brothers, Rock of Ages and Galaxy Quest. Teenage boy Eugene (Rob Houchen), dreams of a distant world where superhero Tough Man and Super Hot Lady fight against the Evil Lord Hector. His nerdy friends Janey (Laura Baldwin) and Feris (Daniel Buckley) e

Love in concert: Broken Wings

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Love, like new musicals can be fleeting. And tragic. Broken Wings had a short run this week at the Theatre Royal Haymarket . Semi-staged and with a nine-piece orchestra it was an opportunity to bring to life the concept album. Although given the lacklustre staging and curious lack of drama, listening to the album proves more entertaining. Written by Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan, the piece is based on Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran’s poetic (and semi-autobiographical) novel. It’s your typical boy meets girl but girl is sold to another influential family. Told through flashbacks we know from the outset that all will not end well. It opens New York City, 1923 where the older Gibran (Nadim Naaman) looks back on two decades to early 1900s Beirut. There the story begins with his return to Beirut after studying in America. As his younger self, Rob Houchen and his soaring tenor vocals are a delight to hear, even if his physical appearance makes it a struggle to see how he grows up looking like

The best of all possible worlds: Candide in Concert with @LMTOrch @CadoganHall

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It is possible to see the best of all possible worlds after experiencing the passion and sublime music making from London Musical Theatre Orchestra's concert version of Candide. Playing for one night only at Cadogan Hall, you left the theatre sharing the joy and passion the musicians felt for Bernstein's work. Based on a story by Voltaire, it's about a young man determined to cling to optimism despite the frequent tragedies he encounters. Along the way he's expelled from home, dragged into the Bulgarian army, brought before the Spanish Inquisition... But the plot is not so important... As a concert version, Bernstein's operetta lets you overlook the sillier parts of the story and focus on the music and performances.