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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

Site specific aimless wandering: The Drowned Man

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Site specific theatre has never seemed more pointless and inept than in Punchdrunk's latest outing, The Drowned Man . A large, cavernous space near Paddington Station is converted into Temple Pictures Studios. You are meant to wander through the spaces and discover the unfolding dramas that are inspired by the drama Woyzeck . These dramas are mostly about people on the margins of the film industry struggling to make ends meet and where high emotions that take people to the point of insanity. It could be spooky and imaginative and a little bit of fun, but instead it is executed so casually that the end product is dreary, aimless and confused. Throughout four floors, the spaces are so large and empty, the lighting so dark that it all seems a little pointless and lacking any direction. It is all too big, too dark and too empty to be interesting.  With all the mazes and rooms with props it seems as if you have inadvertently dropped in on a fuck club on the night it is closed for