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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

Bare emotions: Gods and Monsters @swkplay

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Gods and Monsters , now playing at the Southwark Playhouse is a showcase of incredible performances from its terrific cast and an engaging story. Oh and there is a bit of full frontal nudity too. Based on the novel Father of Frankenstein (which was also the source material for the film of the same name ), the story is a blend of fact and fiction. Age, memory, fame, youth and loss collide in the story of the last few months in the life of English director James Whale. Whale director and creator of the first two Frankenstein films, had a moderately successful career in Hollywood which enabled him to live comfortably in Los Angeles. He was also openly gay. But following a series of strokes in his sixties, he lost his ability to prevent painful memories from his past flooding back. And without giving too much away, his most successful creation, the monster in Frankenstein, seems to become something far more personal.