On Theatre

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Originally a novel, then a play, then a film, it was half a very good idea to turn Kiss of the Spiderwoman into a musical. The cinematic memories of the central character are tailor-made for production numbers - especially when you have Chita Rivera on hand to put a little heat under them. Unfortunately, Kander and Ebb never found a strong enough dramatic reason for the political cellmate to sing, which unbalanced the entire proceedings.

The play (much more gripping) resurfaces tonight in a midnight matinee performance at the Piccadilly Theatre in aid of Balkans Relief, Cancer Research, the NSPCC and Tibetan Relief.

Greg Hicks (right) and Andrew Vezey have been in Piaf since December, but have been trying to do something else for months. So why this? 'It's an incredibly tense play about everything that can happen to two men in a confined space. People who don't know it think it's simply a gay play, but it's phenomenally appropriate to our times. It cuts really deep.'

It's clearly a hugely ambitious but exciting project. 'We've put it together on goodwill and a bus pass. We've borrowed the beds from the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards. And we've got Sir Peter Hall putting in a special guest appearance.' With an 11.45pm start, you don't need to cancel other arrangements. You can add to them.

Kiss of the Spiderwoman, one-off charity performance, Piccadilly Theatre, Denman St W1 (071-867-1118) 11.45pm-2.30am, pounds 10-pounds 15.

(Photograph omitted)

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