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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

Directors, Developers and Swingers: A Chorus of Disapproval

 The revival of A Chorus of Disapproval , Alan Ayckbourn's comedy farce about an amateur light operatic society's production of The Beggar's Opera manages to be an agreeable evening out, although it tends to be more smile out loud than laugh out loud. The cast are terrific but the play lacks the pace and the insanity that are hallmarks of a well written farce. On the other hand, for something silly with wife swapping and unlikely male conquests, you probably can't do that much better on the West End right now... It opens with a successful opening night of the piece with Guy, the lead who plays Macheath, being shunned by the rest of the cast. The piece then returns to the start of rehearsals and traces the path that leads to the opening night. As a play within a play, the music and story of The Beggars Opera reflects (or perhaps riffs) on the story of Guy, played by Nigel Harman, who arrives in a small town and just wants to please everyone and get over the death o

Theatre: The Ladykillers

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The Ladykillers , which is playing at the Gielgud Theatre is a surprise treat. Even if you are not familiar with the Ealing comedy with Alec Guinness , the tale of a sweet old lady who is up against a gang of crooks who are using her room to hide out following a heist near Kings Cross is a lot of fun and everything a civilised night out at the West End should be... Murder, heists, little old ladies, car chases and moulting parrots... How some of the material translates to the stage is often a joy to behold. Actually it is all so enjoyable that you wonder if they took the pace a bit quicker, choreographed the action a bit snappier and occasionally broke the fourth wall it might even be funnier. Still, everyone is so likable and the performances are wonderful. Particularly by Marcia Warren as Mrs Wilberforce, who creates a wonderful character that is equal parts daft and clever.  And of course the production looks great. People have raved about the set and it is a sight to behol