Thursday, 21 May 2015

Review: McQueen at the St James Theatre starring Stephen Wight & Dianna Agron

St James Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 19th May 2015

James Phillips' new play delves into the life of designer Alexander McQueen. Jokingly reminiscent of Pygmalion, McQueen (referred to as Lee) joins forces with Dahlia after she breaks into his Mayfair basement and demands he makes her a dress (as you do).

I was intrigued by McQueen and eager to find out more about the designer; however, whilst Stephen Wight's portrayal of Lee is captivating, John Caird's production feels crammed with information. Unless you have a special interest in the subject, I struggle to suggest what you might gain from the experience. The one hundred minute one-act play feels drawn out and immensely tedious. 

Dahlia is played by former Glee actress Dianna Agron whose performance feels a little wooden. Perhaps Agron just needs a few more weeks to settle into the role, but on press night her portrayal lacked interest and depth. Elsewhere Tracy-Ann Oberman delights as Isabella Blow, it’s a shame we don’t see more of the character.

Christopher Marney's choreography is the show's saving grace. It's wonderful to see dance incorporated so heavily into a play, superbly complimenting the dark and mystifying style. The dancers are enticing yet creepy as McQueen's mannequins; they are slick and on point throughout. David Farley's design is impressive; I love how they have used the space at the St James Theatre, with Tim Bird's video design also shining throughout.

McQueen may have mastered its look and style, but the play needs work. I felt bombarded throughout and gained little from the experience. Alexander McQueen was certainly an interesting character, but this production fails to make its mark.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

McQueen runs at the St James Theatre until 27th June 2015.
Please visit for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit:  Specular

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