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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

Last chance legends: A Chorus Line

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Prior to it completing its run next weekend I finally caught A Chorus Line at the Palladium. It's a simple and slick fly on the wall show about dancers wondering if this is their last shot on stage as they progress from auditions to the opening night. It is hard not to like a show with such heart and thrilling performances. The cast are pretty good and the production is rarely dull, with its classic Broadway songs and classic theatrical set pieces. It is hard not to like Scarlett Strallen (one of the omnipresent Strallens and pictured opposite) dance and high kick her way through the Music and The Mirror as she desperately wants a job. Or see Olivier award-winning Leigh Zimmerman as Sheila, the very late twenty-something dancer who is wondering how long her run will last... At times it is exhausting to watch the cast as they are on stage for nearly two hours (without an interval). And if it looks like hard work, that is probably because it is .