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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

Art: Sara Shamma's Q and Mother and Child

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Syrian-born Sara Shamma's Q at the Royal College of Art is an opportunity to see her work of 10 individual paintings that put together make up a frieze of 16.5 metres that explores the subject of herd mentality and that popular British pastime of queuing. But it is not queuing for the trivial or inane (which is popular in London) but when queuing could be a matter of life or death. Shamma is attempting to capture the change in mentality and behaviour that people at war and under threat experience. Moving from one end of the frieze to the other, images pop out against the flat background using a variety of different techniques to great dramatic effect. Beauty gives way to weariness and death. The lines of people queuing evoke dehumanisation and desperation. Syria is constantly in the news but here the atrocities are second to the dehumanising impact of war. Shamma recently fled Damascus due to the conflict, leaving behind her home and studio and now lives and works in Lebano

Feel it, smell it: Leather Forever

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Burlington Gardens is the home for an intriguing and beautiful exhibition by Hermès called Leather Forever . It celebrates the art of making products with leather along with showcasing some of the beautiful products made by the company over its 175 years. There is the opportunity to feel and smell different leathers and watch the craftmanship in action working with the material. With a mix of lighting effects and different set pieces to compliment their range of products, it is at times an interactive experience and there is even a moment when you can be caught in a leather curtain. A lovely diversion that will have you wanting to head to the gift shop... If you know there is one just around the corner ... The Leather Forever exhibition is open from 10am to 6pm daily and admission is free. It runs through to 27 May.

Art: Venetia Norris and drawings inspired by Fenton House

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Hampstead's Fenton House is currently exhibiting a collection of drawings by London artist Venetia Norris . Norris has taken inspiration from the civilised and beautiful walled gardens of Fenton house and created a series of intricate and detailed drawings of plants and floral arrangements. An individual or pair of plants are captured in extraordinary detail and shading. And the images are a mix of pencil or ink interrupted by occasional lines of gold or silver-leaf (as illustrated opposite). A reflective evening at Fenton House. It runs until 1 July 2012. Be sure to explore the other rooms of this 17th century merchants house (and the the views of London from the roof) to see the impressive collection of early keyboard instruments and porcelain. Also to coincide with Open Squares Weekend and Fenton’s Summer Tea Party, Norris will be holding a number of 30-45-minute drawing workshops on 4th and 9th June 2012 (these will be held at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm on both day