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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

On long runs and intervals: 90 minutes straight through

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When is too much of a good thing, too much? I love going out to the theatre, but there is nothing more I love than hearing that what I am seeing is ninety minutes straight through. The fun of going out, the magic of theatre, brilliant performances, terrific writing... All in an hour and a half. I was thinking about this during the week when at The Maids at Trafalgar Studios I misread the play length. I thought it was one hour fifteen but it actually was one hour fifty. "Do make sure you go to the bathroom beforehand," I thought I heard the usher say in a motherly voice. I'm sure they didn't say that but that is what I heard. The Maids is a stylish new translation where two maids plot macabre ways of killing their mistress. It is a new translation of the Jean Genet play by Benedict Andrews and playwright Andrew Upton. It was first staged by Sydney Theatre Company in 2013. In this production Uzo Aduba (from Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black) and Zawe Ashton