Punks, anarchists, queers, rebels and Queen Elizabeth I, yes, her, all converge in the new stage adaption of ‘Jubilee.’
From the original screenplay by Derek Jarman and James Whaley, ‘Jubilee,’ now playing at The Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, is a mish-mash of all things anti-establishment and anti-everything else. Set in 1977 in a semi-fictionalized desolate London (think Gangs of New York London style), ‘Jubilee’ was Jarman’s second film – released in 1978. However, as a film, it worked because it captured London in the late 1970’s – using great outdoor locations to the best effect – with a superb all-star cast. However, as a stage show, it’s all very minimalistic and grungy, and all over the place. And while that’s fine, it’s hard to find some sort of plot in all of this mess.
Queen Elizabeth I (a sorely underused Toyah Willcox), presides over the festivities from her perch in the balcony but pops down at the end of both acts to strut her stuff (Willcox was a highly successful singer way back when and it’s a shame that she’s not allowed to sing more). Her, and us, are treated to all sorts onstage antics; raves, murder (women seeking out men to kill), gay sex, orgy sex (yes, full frontal nudity, both men and women – all on display for the audience to gawk at), soliloquies, rampant violence, and all the rest which then culminates in a finale that’s far from an orgasm.
There is, however, enormous talent on stage, yet they all get very little stage time to really shine due to the show having way too many characters (several of the actors play multiple characters). ‘Jubilee’ is too much to take when there is very little interest in what is going on.
For Tickets, Please go to: https://lyric.co.uk
Review by Tim Baros
Photo from Jo Allan PR