30 April 2012
From the start, this is like nothing else.
A basically-naked man sells us a programme
for a pound. The loos smell like stale sick.
The bar is sweat heaven.
Don is blonde and chisel-jawed,
louche in a sharp ‘80s suit,
coming on to every man in sight, winking
and smirking for all it could ever be worth.
He’s a charmer, but the charm is wearing thin.
His conquests are cottoning on
and after all you can’t help knowing
this is nearly the end of him.
It’s all a heady mix of music, club and coke,
exotic dancers in their gold spangly nothings,
chip shop humour
and an underlying stale sense of sadness.
But the best part is that this is London,
Soho sleaze and tawdry sex shop signs,
a Phantom of the Opera poster shredded by a blast of smoke
and the arrival of that last, unlikely ghost.
This is something more than gulping pills
and pink champagne
drunk through a sad straw
at the end of an awful night;
here pain, ambition, fear
burn holes where they fall,
and run with glee
through the production’s veins.