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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

Religion and fennel salad: Disgraced

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You feel like a voyeur watching Disgraced , the fiery Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar, at the Bush Theatre . Over the course of 90 minutes everything that is civilised and awfully respectable about two New York couples is gradually undone and at times the conversation is so frank and uncomfortable that you forget you are at the theatre. It turns sour in moments over a fennel salad. As each character presents their views on religion and racial discrimination in today's modern world, they stumble and fall over their arguments and soon there is no turning back from a car crash. It is funny and topical but perhaps a little unnerving, particularly as the recent events in Woolwich bring religion and terrorism back in focus.