Eye | 'McQueen' Play Opens In London To Mixed Reviews As Sister Janet Reveals Alexander McQueen's Sexual Abuse With Her Then Husband
Art & Culture
The play ‘McQueen’, now open at the St James Theatre in London, is receiving mixed reviews. The Independent approves of the drama’s choice of a ‘one night fairytale, a James Phillips script that whirls across London from the four-time winner of the ‘British Designer of the Year’ award’s posh house in West London to a high-rise rooftop in East London.’
The action is inspired by Dahlia, a young woman with her own dark side, who walks into McQueen’s life from his garden to steal a dress. The plot is anchored in reality, inspired by the 600-year-old ancient elm tree in McQueen’s garden and his Fall 2008 collection ‘A Girl Who Lives in a Tree’ that honored Royal Brittania and Indian exotica. This well-received collection came shortly after the 2007 suicide of McQueen’s good friend Isabella Blow.
Alexander McQueen Fall 2008
The play explores McQueen’s own depression — the designer killed himself in 2010 — using Dahlia as his mirror image. McQueen is played by actor Stephen Wight and Dahlia by GLEE star Dianna Agron. LondonTheatre1 writes:
Moving video imagery, pulsating fashion songs that are sweetened by baroque music transfer McQueen and Dahlia to various places, from Saville Row, a party in the V & A, a lunchtime interview, his mother’s home and the summit of a tall building in Stratford. We meet his humble ex-boss Mr Hitchcock, played by David Shaw-Parker, cut-throat PR slash journalist Arabella, acted by Laura Rees, and Isabella Blow, played by Eastenders actress Tracy-Ann Oberman, who enters the stage on a white sofa with smoke and a pair of diamante platforms to match. Yet, it’s not the dreamlike journey that thrill the audience but the conversations McQueen has with the other characters. Philips’ script puts McQueen in a poetic space full of interesting utterances of what ‘beauty’ means to him. On his body he has the Shakespearean words, ‘Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind’ tattooed on his body. Here, Philips suggests that McQueen found fruit in understanding people.
McQueen theatre review: plodding piece lacks Alexander McQueen’s dramatic daring London Evening Standard
A New Play Explores Alexander McQueen’s Psyche The Cut @ NY Magazine
McQueen’s Sexual Abuse
Vogue UK wrote last week that Lee McQueen’s sister Janet has finally spoken about her brother’s sexual abuse suffered in the hands of her former husband. 15 years older than her famous brother, Janet says that she was not aware of the abuse until four years before McQueen’s death.
Janet McQueen was frequently beaten by husband Terence Hulyer who sexually abused the designer when he was nine or ten.The beatings from Hulyer, now dead, were so severe that Janet suffered two miscarriages.