McQueen (play)

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McQueen
McQueen play.jpg
Written by James Phillips
Characters Alexander McQueen
Date premiered 12 May 2015 (2015-05-12)
Place premiered St. James Theatre, London
Original language English
Subject Alexander McQueen
Genre Drama
Setting London

McQueen is a play by British playwright James Phillips and directed by John Caird. It received its world premiere at the St. James Theatre, London, in May 2015. Starring Stephen Wight and Dianna Agron, the story is set over the course of one night. It focuses on the visionary imagination of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, about a girl who breaks into the designer's home to steal a dress and is caught by McQueen.[1]

Following its premiere run, the play was transferred to the West End's Theatre Royal, Haymarket from August 27 to November 7, 2015.

Background[edit]

McQueen is a play by British playwright James Phillips, inspired by a statement Alexander McQueen made in 2008: "I've got a 600-year-old elm tree in my garden. I made up a story: a girl lives in it and comes out of the darkness to meet a prince and becomes a queen."[2]

On 11 February 2015, it was confirmed that the play would receive its world premiere at the St. James Theatre, London[3] from 12 May, with press nights on 19 and 20 June, booking for a limited period until 27 June 2015.[4] The play marks the five year anniversary of the designer's death[5] and had been in production since 2012.[6]

The play is set on a single night in London[7] and follows the character of Dahlia, a fan of McQueen who breaks into his house to steal a dress and is discovered by him.[8] Instead of reporting the girl, McQueen embarks with her on a journey through London.[9]

In March 2015, it was announced that Stephen Wight would play McQueen,[10] Glee actress Dianna Agron would play Dahlia[11] and Tracy-Ann Oberman would play the designer's muse Isabella Blow.[12] The play is directed by John Caird,[13] with choreography by Christopher Marney,[14] fight direction by Kate Walters,[15] design by David Falrey,[15] lighting design by David Howe,[15] video design by Tim Bird[15] and sound by John Leonard.[15]

Following its premiere production the play is scheduled to transfer to the West End's Theatre Royal, Haymarket where it will run from 27 August to 7 November 2015, with a press night on 27 August.[16] For the West End run, Agron was unable to reprise her role as Dahlia due to existing commitments and Carly Bawden joined the production as her replacement. In addition Michael Bertenshaw joined the cast as Mr. Hitchcock.[17] For the transfer, some scenes have been rewritten and an interval was added.[18]

Principal roles and original cast[edit]

Character St. James performer[4][19] West End performer[18]
Alexander McQueen Stephen Wight
Dahlia Dianna Agron Carly Bawden
Isabella Blow Tracy-Ann Oberman
Arabella Laura Rees
Mr. Hitchcock David Shaw-Parker Michael Bertenshaw
Twin Eloise Hymas
Carrie Willis

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

McQueen broke the box office record at the St. James Theatre in its first night, which was previously recorded by the musical Urinetown in 2014.[20]

Critical reception[edit]

McQueen has met with mixed reviews from critics. Kristy Wallace from 4 Your Excitement said that McQueen "should be watched by as many people as possible, and shows that James Phillips has a fantastically bright future in the theatre". She also praised Wight and Agron for their amazing jobs.[21] Holly Williams for The Independent did not think the same way: "Dianna Agron is not good, I’m afraid. Her delivery is glib yet slow. I never believe the quick-fire rapport with McQueen, this performance is more blunt than a pair of old sewing scissors; it simply doesn't cut it." This was contradicted by Tom Millward from The London Theatre. He said that with McQueen Agron was able "to demonstrate her impressive talents as a performer".[22] Gully Hopper from About Time Magazine thought that the play "will find sanctuary in the minds of fashion lovers, while avid theatregoers may need further convincing".[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alexander McQueen Play London St James Theatre 2015". Vogue.co.uk. 2015-02-12. Retrieved 2015-05-09.
  2. ^ "Les Miz Director to Stage New Play About Dazzling and Tragic Life of Fashion Designer Alexander McQueen". playbill.com. Playbill. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Alexander McQueen bio-play premieres at St James Theatre". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b "McQueen – St James Theatre". 51.498724,-0.142113: Stjamestheatre.co.uk. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-05-09.
  5. ^ "Alexander McQueen play to open in London | Stage". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 2015-05-09.
  6. ^ "Alexander McQueen play: James Phillips on bringing the fashion designer's life to the West End". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Dianna Agron turns brunette as she prepares to make her West End debut in play about tragic fashion designer Alexander McQueen". dailymail.co.uk. Daily Mail. 3 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Dianna Agron to star in play about Alexander McQueen in London". ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Glee star Dianna Agron to appear in McQueen play". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-05-09.
  10. ^ "Glee Star Agron Lands Role In McQueen Play". news.sky.com. Sky News. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Glee star Dianna Agron to be cheerleader for Alexander McQueen in play about designer". standard.co.uk. Evening Standard. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Stephen Wight, Dianna Agron and cast begin rehearsals for McQueen". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  13. ^ "ST JAMES HOSTS PREMIERE OF MCQUEEN PLAY". officiallondontheatre.co.uk. Official London Theatre. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Glee's Dianna Agron to star in McQueen premiere". thestage.co.uk. The Stage. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Promotional Shots for MCQUEEN, Starring Dianna Agron & Stephen Wright". broadwayworld.com. Broadway World. 7 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  16. ^ "McQueen play to transfer to the West End". thestage.co.uk. The Stage. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Stephen Wight Will Lead McQueen Transfer to London's West End; Glee's Dianna Agron Not on Board". broadway.com. Broadway.COM. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  18. ^ a b "West End transfer announced for McQueen". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  19. ^ ""Glee" Star Dianna Agron and Stephen Wight to Star in World Premiere of McQueen at London's St James Theatre". playbill.com. Playbill. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  20. ^ McQueen breaks box office record at the St James Theatre
  21. ^ THE STARS SHINE BRIGHTLY AS MCQUEEN TAKES US INTO THE MIND OF FASHION’S ENFANT TERRIBLE
  22. ^ Review of McQueen at the St James Theatre
  23. ^ ABOUT TIME YOU SAW: MCQUEEN

External links[edit]

Official website at the Wayback Machine (archived December 27, 2016)