McQueen – at the St James Theatre, Victoria.
McQueen at the St James Theatre, Victoria is both a play and biopic showing the inner demons and creative process that the late brilliant designer Alexander McQueen had to face.
Timed perfectly with the McQueen exhibit at the V and A museum this show is an hour and 45mins with no intermission ( I hear this may change as the run progresses ).
My first point of praise would be to say how beautiful and creative the dancing is within this production. The choreography by Christopher Marney is both Stunning and breathtaking, The dancers double up as mannequins, which initially are used to fit garments come to life in a series of stunning movements being both fluid by while maintaining the illusion of a mannequin. The dance helps to not only move pieces of the set but to also help bring to life the manifestations of McQueen’s struggles with his inner demons. Although the dancing is only a small part of the production it is truly one of its main strengths. Abstract and classical dance meet as the cast really utilise the space and add such a great layer to the show.
Stephen Wright as Alexander McQueen is superb. Starting off on stage as the audience enter you can see him struggling and being uncomfortable in his own skin. As the show unwinds you see his anguish, creativity, hope and despair all come to life. Great acting and with an amazing doppleganger look to him too.
Dianna Agron plays the role of Dahlia making her UK debut in McQueen. Without giving too much away as I feel her role in the play is open to interpretation Dianna gives a chilling performance as a girl who seems to stumble into Alexander Mcqueens life one night. Appearing as a muse to him you are not quite sure if she is real or a fragment of his imagination.
I saw the second show, so a week before press night, but I felt some of the scenes lacked a bit of drive and pace. A bit laboured at times Dianna Agron could do with speeding up the delivery of some of her lines which I think would help the odd punch line etc to come across better to the audience.
Tracy-Ann Oberman as Isabella Blow is delightful and comical in a dream sequence. Such chemistry between her and Stephen Wrights portrayal of ‘Lee’, and as they should based on their creative and friendly history. She is a great assist to the show.
Although a beautiful theatre the ST James is not one of the biggest spaces, but this production would not allow you to think that. With its great use of props, hydraulics and special effects no part of the stage is left useless.
McQueen is at the St James Theatre until june 27th – https://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/theatre/mcqueen/
Other reviews can be found :
– The Independent Newspaper