Hair @ The Gate...
Stuart and I went to see the Flower Power hippy musical Hair at The Gate in Notting Hill last night. The reviews had been mixed but good to enough to warrant an extension to the run (Hair Extension, geddit?!)
We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves even though the production was ocassionally a tad am-dram. Sure it had gusto, energy and some pretty good ideas but was perhaps just a little niaive at times. Think Pet Shop Boys video meets Fame meets Rocky Horror.
The original story of Hair tells a story about Claude, young man from Oklahoma who comes to New York City. There he strikes up a friendship with the group of hippies, led by Berger, and falls in love with Sheila, girl from the rich family. However, their happines is short because Claude must go to Vietnam war.
Last night the musicial had been moved to a contemporary setting; New York street life in the noughties rather than the sixties. Vietnam was replaced by Iraq which was an OK idea in theory but really only worked in practice when the cast - playing captured Iraqis - were having their pictures taken doing obscenece things by gloating Amercian soldiers. Quite a powerful scene.
In seemed the cast of 20 or so were close to out numbering the audience (it's a small place is The Gate) but it did give you a chance to see a bit of cock and fanny close up - oh, did I not tell you there was lots of nudity in Hair?
But the real reason Stuart and I were there was for those songs. Everyone a gem; Aquarius, Donna, I Got Life, Black Boys, White Boys, Good Morning, Starshine and of course the sublime Let the Sun Shine In. We sung along and clapped our hands like loons. Great fun.