A good double bill of one act plays can be a bit of a rarity. It might consist of pieces with radically different themes by diverse writers who adopt varying tones forming an unsatisfactory pairing. Or it might just gel as a cohesive evening where each element benefits from the presence of the other and enhances the overall experience. Fortunately Generation Games, currently playing at the White Bear Theatre, falls into the latter category with both plays examining intergenerational gay relationships.
The Tailor-Made Man was turned into a musical in 2013. This current iteration was filmed in 2017 at the White Bear Theatre when a 25th anniversary production was mounted.
The Importance of Being Earnest is a laugh out loud witty performance cleverly directed by Bryan Hodgson.
Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens is such a beautiful and moving piece of work celebrating the lives and commemorating the deaths of those who have been lost to AIDS.
At one time Billy Haines, the subject of Claudio Macor’s play, The Tailor-Made Man, was as big as Clark Gable, Ramon Novarro and Montgomery Clift (look ’em up if the names mean nothing to you). A clean cut, Hollywood matinee idol, at the advent of talkies, he was feted and adored.
The 25th-anniversary revival of Claudio Macor’s The Tailor-Made Man, a true story about Hollywood hypocrisy, officially opens tomorrow night (9 November 2017) at London’s White Bear Theatre, where its limited season continues until 25 November 2017 only. Check out our BIG bumper gallery of rehearsal photographs for this brand-new production, starring Mitchell Hunt and Tom Berkeley, and then get booking!
It’s not just umbrella festival programmes that keep myself and other London theatregoers busy in August. Here are some thoughts (and connections) on the other plays and musicals I’ve seen over the past week that are worth a look: Mrs Orwell, King Cowboy Rufus Rules the Universe, Boom and Salad Days.
Union Theatre, London
Book, music & lyrics by Elliot Davis and James BourneDirected by Michael Burgen
After perhaps a too short run in London’s West End nearly three years ago, Loserville the British musical written by Elliot Davis and James Bourne and inspired by the Son of Dork album ‘Welcome to Loserville’, bursts back on to the fringe scene in a fresh and exciting production at the Union Theatre. Transporting us back to 1971 and the geekishly wonderful life of Michael Dork, the story isn’t massively unfamiliar in its boy meets girl setup. But what Loserville (a Best Musical nominee at the 2013 Oliviers) adds is a wonderful array of period charm, possessing all the right kinds of awkwardness that quickly turn this show into an exciting musical.
Instantly greeted by our geeks in the opening number Living In The Future Now, the Union’s strong young cast impresses. Leads Michael Dork (Luke Newton) , Holly Manson (Holly-Ann Hull) and Lucas Lloyd (Jordan Fox) give flawless vocal performances throughout, whilst Lewis Bradley’s ‘arch’ nemesis Eddie Arch proves a hit, giving just enough sinister swagger to make the villain of the piece ultimately too hard to hate. Bradley is equally matched by Sarah Covey in her sophisticated approach as Leia Dawkins.
With a strong ensemble, Matt Krzan’s vibrant choreography wonderfully fills the Union’s space, suggesting a brilliant mix of techno drive and high school chic that works extremely well. Bryan Hodgson leads a fine 3 piece band, though there is a slight overpowering in the general mix that occasionally obscures some the ensemble’s fantastic harmonic work. Nothing that cant be fixed, mind.
Helming the show, Michael Burgen is by no means a stranger to the Union. Having previously appeared in the theatre’s acclaimed all male ‘Pirates of Penzance’, he jumps ship quite literally to make an impressive directorial debut. Burgen’s fun, fresh and arguably more home grown approach to the piece, gives it both warmth and heart that the show may have lacked on the bigger stage. Ultimately, its setup of chalk boards, UV paint and VCR props brings out the playful, geekish child in us all and definitely works to the Union’s advantage.
Loserville isn’t just for geeks. It has a vulnerability that also packs an impressive musical theatre punch. If you love the songs or even simply just missed the show first time around, then catch it now. Together with Davis, (Mc)Busted’s Bourne has written numbers that speak to the teenager in us all. It’s a fun show driven by a great ensemble.
Runs until 21st March 2015