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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

Last chance legends: A Chorus Line

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Prior to it completing its run next weekend I finally caught A Chorus Line at the Palladium. It's a simple and slick fly on the wall show about dancers wondering if this is their last shot on stage as they progress from auditions to the opening night. It is hard not to like a show with such heart and thrilling performances. The cast are pretty good and the production is rarely dull, with its classic Broadway songs and classic theatrical set pieces. It is hard not to like Scarlett Strallen (one of the omnipresent Strallens and pictured opposite) dance and high kick her way through the Music and The Mirror as she desperately wants a job. Or see Olivier award-winning Leigh Zimmerman as Sheila, the very late twenty-something dancer who is wondering how long her run will last... At times it is exhausting to watch the cast as they are on stage for nearly two hours (without an interval). And if it looks like hard work, that is probably because it is .

A frightfully fun afternoon: Lost Musicals and Words and Music

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I've never been to a Lost Musicals event before, but it is quite a treat, and an opportunity to catch rarely performed or obscure shows that may have been undeservedly ignored when first staged. The obscure show in question this time around was a 1932 Noel Coward revue called Words and Music. Coward's idea, following various successes in the early 1930s was to present a revue with no stars. The songs and sketches that explore Coward's usual fascination with stars, class and manners. The show  was not the success it was expected to be and quickly disappeared. A few years later it opened on Broadway but also was not a success. Of the sketches, one seemed particularly amusing in which children act like their parents, smoking and drinking martinis. Many of the songs have since become standards in their own right such as "Mad about the Boy." The song "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" is also delivered with such freshness and energy by the cast that you feel

Last Look: Les Troyens

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Tonight is the last chance to see Berlioz's Les Troyens at The Royal Opera . It is an event: an epic opera with some grand spectacle to match. However at nearly six hours (including two half hour intervals) you do need arrive prepared, which includes familiarising oneself with Berlioz's music. The piece is full of rousing choruses and delicate moments, but as a drama that hangs together like other Romantic operas it is not easy to take in at first listen. David McVicar's production makes things a little easier to appreciate with the spectacle and astonishing set designs by Es Devlin . Brush up on your Berlioz late Romantic period, refresh your knowledge of Virgil's Aeneid and go along for the ride... It may not come around too soon again...