Tuesday, 20 October 2015

'McQueen' Theatre Royal, Haymarket ****

Any industry on the planet can be vastly challenging; especially the fashion industry where fashion shows are the bane of their lives, so when the legendary designer, Lee “Alexander” McQueen committed suicide in 2010, is it appropriate for a dramatic production to expose the illustrious man’s mental instabilities in such a small space of time? The West End transfer of James Phillips’ play, ‘McQueen’ was an acutely entrancingly written play that is very gratifying, over and above, the performances were breathtakingly represented.

‘McQueen’ is situated in the home of famous fashion designer, Lee “Alexander” McQueen where he is about to hang himself in the basement as his cerebral state is not altogether stable. He soon figures out that he is not along as young woman, Dahlia has broken in to his home as she is hopeful that she can steal one of the many dresses that he has archived, and obviously McQueen is much perturbed by Dahlia’s presence. She explains that she has been watching him from a tree in his garden for the last 11 nights where she has been seizing the opportunity to thieve one of McQueen’s beautiful dresses. McQueen thinks Dahlia probably knows more about him than he knows about himself so he chooses to take her to the tailors where he found his talent, he states that to make a dress the dress must fit to the person meaning it has a more personal touch, so he finds some black material so he can swiftly create the dress. McQueen’s former mentor, Mr. Hitchcock (Michael Bertenshaw) who is still working there is surprised that McQueen is there, but is more than thrilled to see him again. As such; he does not inform the police for the pinched black fabric. The black dress is constructed like magic which shows how imaginative McQueen was. It appears that McQueen has been hiding a lot of heartache, this is evident when fashion editor, Isabella Blow (Tracy-Ann Oberman) makes him realise the positives that he has chosen to reject, and what he contributed to the fashion industry as an ingenious designer/artist he became. However when he and Dahlia are sat having an interview with reporter, Arabella (Laura Rees) about his up-and-coming collection and during the interview Arabella questions McQueen on the methods of manipulation to his models and the people who would purchase his garments. Dahlia helps McQueen throughout the course of the interview and afterwards he takes her to his mother’s flat in Peckham to show her his routes which is a stark contrast to the lifestyle he leads now.  At the finale, Dahlia who has left with the dress that McQueen has made, McQueen, alone and very sorrowful decides to set out his plan to kill himself where he takes the belt out of his jeans and hangs himself in the basement  as his insecurities seem to overcome him.  Phillips’ narrative is momentous as the story of McQueen’s demise has been written is a compassionate way that enables you to become quite emotional by McQueen’s suffering, as such it is not offensive in the slightest.

One found the performances by the company of, ‘McQueen’ to be magnificently captivating through splendid voice and movements from an awe-inspiring ensemble of endowed dancers. Stephen Wight is excessive as central protagonist, Lee “Alexander” McQueen; first and foremost when he learns to be kinder to Dahlia who has helped him in his last night of living as you can see how he is increasingly lonely, which is agonisingly sad to see a designer distressing in this way, plus the solitude that has lead him to committing suicide which is a heart-breaking moment indeed. Carly Bawden is wonderful as intruder, Dahlia; intrinsically when she is helping McQueen deal with the interrogation by Arabella, moreover on the roof of his mother’s tower block leads her to become slightly frightened by McQueen’s mental state.  Excellent casting by Kate Plantin and Jayne Collins I must say.
John Caird’s direction is glorious here as he has mesmerized how world renowned fashion designer/artist, Lee “Alexander” McQueen  where he is in the process of self-destruction, in addition the process McQueen visualises his world famous dresses shows how Caird has considered this in leaps and bounds. As well as, Christopher Marney’s choreography by suggesting the bleak and dark world that is fashion and the shows create the harshness of the industry itself.  David Farley’s set and costume designs are exemplary as the set itself of the ripped black material shows the eradication of McQueen’s life and the costumes present a colourful element of a really intriguing plot. Furthermore, with David Howe’s lighting and Timothy Bird’s video incorporated in Marney’s design shows the brilliance of tradition and modern techniques of theatrical design in a phenomenal fashion. Overall, the experience of, ‘McQueen’ was an animated and eloquent tribute to the late and intelligent designer/artist, Lee”Alexander” McQueen. Rest in Peace Mr McQueen.

No comments:

Post a Comment