Interview and review: Andy Bell in Torsten The Beautiful Libertine

  • Date : 17th March 2016
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INTERVIEW

Can I ask you what attracted you to the role?

It was purely Barney Ashton-Bullock’s amenable nature he’s a very shy boy like me & the idea for Torsten’s character just really resonated with my DNA apart from being spectacular songs!

Have you been influenced by any other actors when it came to the way you approached this role?

I think my main influence was the movie Querelle.

Is it easy for you to switch between stage and recording studio?

I love them both & when one starts to become tedious the other beckons, but stage is my preferred choice.

Tell us about the album Torsten, The Beautiful Libertine. What is the story behind the music?

Torsten’s a bit of a tortured soul really who’s managed just about to retain a modicum of sanity. I don’t think he’s really interested in finding out why he hasn’t aged he just got used to it & didn’t want to become part of a circus freak show so he just hides away!

This last question is now the main stay of any gay about town interview…
If we’re to host a dinner party you and five guests. Livings or or dead. Who would they be and why.
Marilyn Monroe so i could find out what really happened to her, Mae West to hear about her bawdy screen & stage life & learn about the Hayes code. Elvis Presley & Michael Jackson so they could share their experiences of the music business & Oscar Wilde so hopefully he could be pardoned by HRH Queen Elizabeth 2nd.

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REVIEW

There is something magical about shows that are staged at Above The Stag and Barney Ashton;s and Christopher Frost’s Tortsen,The Beautiful Libertine is as spellbinding as it can get.
The set by David Sheilds is fantastic, glorious attention to details , slightly warped with large picture frames and standard lamps pitched at unusual angles perhaps to illustrate the minds of the characters that are to be played out before us. Erasures Andy Bell is the Libertine of the title, His voice is crisp, clear and stunning. He has an air of mystery about him and he performs the songs without maintaining any eye contact with the audience. I liked this use of the fourth wall very much .

This is a story of ex loves, an extremely melodic stroll down memory lane,. Bell’s costars , Peter Straker( reading off book) , this is easily forgiven as his flair with a white feather and the fact that he has wonderful stage presence work. His ability to wrap his tongue around the alliterated script is both poignant and in places sexy. The vulgarity of his and Lana P roles, who too embraces the script is to be treasured . They are glorious. with both having an acute sense of comic timing.

When a fantasy world is created , Nania, Wonderland, Neverland, Eurasia in 1984 etc you would like to think that given the chance you would like to go there.
The world of Tortsen, The Beautiful Liberttine is an enchanting , profound place, perhaps both a state of mind and body, Check it out you may discover something about yourself, even to be more introspective and that laughter can cure most ills.

Runs to the 27th March . Above the Stag, 17 Miles Street, Vauxhall. SW8 1RZ Tickets www.abovethestag.com

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