Taboo’s a hit, by George…
Last night Alex, Ben, Bryn, Chris, Marky and I went to see Boy George's new musical Taboo at the Venue. I’d been wanting to go for some time and thanks to Bryn coming over from San Francisco we had the perfect excuse. Ben had kindly booked the tickets and very good ones they were too (C&D 14-16). We were almost sitting on the stage. The Venue auditorium is completely open plan so the actors performed, sang and danced in and around you which really made you feel part of the night club.
The show itself was sensational. Witty, outrageous and lyrical. The cast were exceptional - especially Euan Morton (Boy George), Mark McGee (Marilyn) and Drew Jaymson (Steve Strange).
Surprisingly the show stealer wasn’t Matt Lucas (Leigh Bowery) despite his outrageous costumes and songs (like Ich Bin Kunst!) but actually Paul Baker (Philip Salon). Being able to step out of the performance and interact with the audience meant he acted as a kind of Greek Chorus at times that provided much amusement (talking to a portly couple in the audience “Hello, you two. You must have a big fridge!”) and helped accelerate the plot when needed. Matt Lucas attempts at doing the same were less successful as you were laughing at him not with him.
The story itself was standard boy meets girl stuff (avoiding some of the let’s-make-it-really-gay mistakes of Closer To Heaven) around which the flamboyantly dressed fame and fashion obsessed bitches circulated - dropping their acid comments and casting their evil spells. It all rang so true! Apparently the ending was made a bit more upbeat after initial audience feedback in the previews.
Boy George 16 new songs are in equal measure funny, moving and sing/clap along. He’s lost none of his touch to write a good pop tune. Mixed in with these new songs are some of Culture Club’s classics, a hilarious version of Visage's Fade to Grey and a bit of Human League’s Don’t You Want Me? I picked up a mini-LP of four of these tracks on the way out and have been playing it all morning. The cast album should be out soon.
I would urge you to go and see the show. It's well worth it. We're already planning our next visit.
Oh, and on the star spotting front, we saw Paul Keating in the audience and in the bar afterwards. I struggled to find something nice to say though (seeing as Closer... was so crap). Only afterwards did it occur to me to have praised him for The Rose and the Ring we saw at Christmas. D'oh!