McQueen opened in London’s St James Theatre last week, watched by family and friends of the late designer, as well as legions of McQueen fans, to delve deeper into the life of the iconic designer. Interest in Alexander McQueen has been at an all time high this year, thanks to the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Savage Beauty exhibition and a huge number of smaller exhibitions celebrating the designer’s tortured talent. But forget the mannequins, McQueen aims to bring the designer to life, foul language and all.
Starring Stephen Wight as Alexander McQueen, and Glee’s Dianna Agron as aspiring starlet Dahlia, McQueen, is definitely not a biography – there have already been enough of those this year. Instead, the play is an evening of fantasy; the troubled pair trip through McQueen’s London, stopping off at Lee’s East London home, Anderson and Sheppard (the tailors where McQueen perfected his craft), and the seedy gay bars where Lee loved to spend wild nights with his friends.
Stephen Wight does an incredible job of portraying the tortured designer, right from the second you enter the auditorium. He looks a hell of a lot like McQueen, dressed in a grey cardigan and toying with his leather belt. Dianna Agron’s Dahlia is feisty - bold enough to break into McQueen’s home to steal a gown, not even caring when she gets caught red-footed in Lee’s infamous armadillo shoes. ‘You left the door open for me’, she claims.
Real-life friends of McQueen are also portrayed in this play; Philip Treacy is on the blower, Arabella, a snotty journalist, brings out the truth behind Lee’s stunning designs and Isabella Blow flashes back from the dead to answer the question Lee really needs to hear. Around them swarm a tangle of models and mannequins, who race through the show from studio to street in a variety of high-fashion poses.
McQueen can be a little tough at times, with some sniffles and tears heard in the audience. Lee was not a happy man, as we all know, but as a fashion designer he came alive - ‘A dress is who you are!’ McQueen screams at Dahlia. One of McQueen’s most famous designs, a stunning dress made of ostrich feathers and medical slides, is replicated on stage, while a gold feathered coat, one of the last garments McQueen ever designed, plays a pivotal part in the plot.
McQueen tickets are hard to come by, so make sure you book yours before November 7th as the show is strictly season limited from August until November.
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Terms & Conditions
Show Duration 2 hours. Tickets from £18. Booking till 7 November 2015. All prices subject to availability.