Review: Princess, LOST Theatre

“So you think you can be a princess?”

Caught somewhere between theatre and dance, art installation and gay club extravaganza, Stuart Saint’s Princess makes for a fascinating project, conceived as a response to traditional Disneyfied notions of fairytale femininity and finding something altogether more Grimm at its heart. Accompanied by a pulsing 80s-influenced electropop score by Saint, who also directs and choreographs, it’s a show full of striking moments.

It’s also a faintly perplexing show – a detailed synopsis in the programme offers clues as to what is happening once we’ve gone down the rabbit hole but even so, the narrative thread is hard to follow. Matters aren’t helped by the talented company having to multi-role their way through the mash-up of storybook tropes, too often lacking the time to give characters the necessary definition before the next costume change and then the next. Continue reading “Review: Princess, LOST Theatre”

Review: De Profundis, Leicester Square Theatre

“Hang the night with stars so that I may wait abroad in the darkness without stumbling”

It is rather pleasing to see that the winner of a new musical theatre prize – inspiringly named the New Musical Project – is something that tests the boundaries of what we conventionally see labelled as musicals and hopefully will inspire others to consider more adventurous work. The winner of the inaugural prize was De Profundis, Paul Dale Vickers’ adaptation of the letter written by Oscar Wilde from his prison cell in Reading jail to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, the man who helped to put him there.

As such, it forms a musical monologue, just shy of an hour as Wilde recounts the state of affairs that has led him here, the hurts inflicted on him by Bosie, Bosie’s father and an unflinchingly moralistic society that has broken up his own family. But he also speaks of the power of love, and with typically philosophical élan, even forgiveness as he explores the more spiritual dimension of the punishment he has been forced to endure. It would certainly help to know a little of the circumstances in advance but this is powerful material regardless.

Continue reading “Review: De Profundis, Leicester Square Theatre”