by Peter Gill
Review by Robert Hewison , Sunday Times, 16 June 2002
Peter Gill's new play is quite unlike those being revived alongside it in this welcome mini festival. Like his recent, brilliant The York Realist, they are intense, gem-like dramas of contemporary family life with a strong homosexual theme. By contrast, this reconsideration of Wedekind's Lulu is a historical epic with a large, all-male cast, and sprawls across 1890s London and Paris. Its Lulu is a street Arab called Angel, who brings death to his classy lovers: a doctor, an artist, a press magnate and his son, and an aristocrat. In an echo of Wilde's Dorian Gray, Angel's portrait presides over his decline, until he ends up with his throat cut as he submits to anal rape. For an admirer of Gill's work such as myself, this did not come a moment too soon. Andrew Scott's Angel has no redeeming features, not even the physical fascination he is supposed to exercise over his lovers to cause their ludicrous deaths. Seemingly having lost his characteristic focus as a writer, Gill loses his marvellous precision as a director. The acting is shouty and the pace leaden. Negative in conception, Original Sin is brought down by the bleakness of its picture of homosexual desire.
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