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Showing posts with the label ian hallard

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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

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At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s

Gay gore: Tumulus @Sohotheatre

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Something is unnerving about Tumulus. It isn't just that some audience members are asked if they want apple juice or Lucozade before the piece begins (although that's pretty weird too if you're unfamiliar with the subject matter). But it's that the show will leave you with the thought that in the London gay community there are a group of professional men who are perfectly happy to let you die. Just not in their own flats. So beware partying with anyone with easy access to Hampstead Heath. A short piece it's about respectable professional Anthony (Ciarán Owens). He has a stable job and a penchant for young boys and 36-hour chemsex parties. When his ex-lover is found dead on Hampstead Heath was it just another overdose that happens every week. Or was it something more sinister? The life of Anthony, his addictions and the people around him weave together like a gay gore whodunnit. But writer Christopher Williams creates a funny and playful account of life in L

Hard times, hard drinking, hard men: The Boys In The Band @ParkTheatre

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The glass may be half empty but it's always going to be full of liquor or bile in The Boys In the Band. The alcohol starts flowing and next follows the loathing. But something unexpected watching this piece. Even amongst the bleak depiction of pre-Stonewall New York you get the sense they're a family. And they will probably patch things up in the morning. Once they get over their broken noses and hangovers. It is now playing at the Park Theatre before heading on a tour. Mart Crowley's play was the first to present gay life to a mainstream audience. It is important to appreciate that it was once unique. Nowadays there isn’t a week that goes by in London when there isn’t a play about gay men in London. Usually it involves the actors getting naked. But this takes you back to an earlier time. It is before chemsex. Before AIDS. Before Stonewall. Just drinking, poppers, a bit of dope and a whole lot of self hatred.  But an excellent ensemble and a brisk pace makes it for