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The male gaze: Turning the screw

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It's been a while since trips to the theatre. I've been busy. But it's nice to see that it's the creative process that is at the heart of Kevin Kelly's Turning the Screw. And what gives rise to it. It's a dramatisation of the creative process leading up to composer Benjamin Britten's premiere of his opera, The Turning of the Screw. With deadlines approaching, Britten seems stuck over melodies and unsure about completing the piece for its summer premiere. But the selection of twelve-year-old choirboy David Hemmings in the leading role of Miles within the opera is the spark that motivates him to complete the piece. And his presence may stir other feelings, too. It's currently playing at the Kings Head Theatre .  Britten's fascination with young boys has been the subject of a detailed book, Britten's Children. The book suggests that Britten saw himself as a young boy of 13. It's almost as if he saw himself as Peter Pan, albeit if Peter Pan was a

You gotta get a gimmick: Hand to God @handtogodlondon

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Hand to God has landed in the West End after a successful run on Broadway. It's been described as Sesame Street meets the Exorcist but something seems lost in translation in its trip across the pond. The comedy seems forced and the attempts to shock seem like they miss the target for London audiences. After all, this is a city where its buses advertised that God probably doesn't exist. Fanaticism and seeing things only in black and white is not really what we do over here. It's a shame as while there is a heavy handed preachy message that misses its mark, there are also some great performances. And some very funny use of sock puppets.

Life upon the wicked stage: Birdman (it's only a movie not a play)

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It isn't theatre, but a film that is sort of about theatre,  Birdman  opens here on 1 January. It  brings back to the screen Michael Keaton as a former movie star from a successful comic book franchise. Washed up and without a movie career, he is planning a comeback by writing, directing and starring in a Broadway play, based on a Raymond Carver short story. Keaton's character Riggan Thompson sees the piece as his chance for validation, yet at every step he feels frustrated by his fellow actors and haunted by the voice of his superhero alter-ego, Birdman. His daughter who is a recovering addict and supporting him on the show tells him that he is no longer relevant and he should just get over it like everyone else.