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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

Rough trade: Market Boy @theuniontheatre

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In Market Boy, the market is free and full of life lessons. Never dull. There’s no time to dwell on why you’re there as there’s merchandise to move and money to be made. And maybe a girl to impress. It's currently playing at the Union Theatre . The show opens in the early 1980s at Romford Street Market. It’s the era before online deliveries and fashionable farmers markets selling fresh produce. This is a rough trade. And Boy (Tommy Knight), lands a job selling women's shoes. Under the apprenticeship of Trader (Andy Umerah), he learns a thing or two about shoes, selling to the women of Romford, and closing a deal. David Eldridge’s play, first seen at the National Theatre over ten years ago, whisks you on a journey through the eighties from boom to bust. With over fifty characters, all are loveable rogues with hearts of gold. And they have a thing or two to teach the Boy. What this show lacks in epic scale (or characterisation), it makes up with enthusiasm and energy f