Jack Cullen

Vince Clarke and Mozart walk into a 1980s bar…

Don Giovanni gets a gaying up

Just when the low hum of a 90s comeback is audible to our cultural ears, a full-scale 1980s-themed adaptation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni is turning up on our doorstep, and it’s camper than Kinder eggs. Alarm bells tend to sound in the GT office when these press releases for these things arrive.

Gay revamps of very traditional material often go catastrophically wrong to the point where you find yourself recoiling on your knees afterwards, screaming expletives in short painful coughs of hairspray and glitter.The Gay Don has all the staples of a potential train wreck production too: a gender-inversed cast, sexual innuendos to the max, topical character names like Zac and of course contrived inclusions of current affairs.

But just when the document was about to join Flo Rida’s new single in the GT bin, two words glistened in the mid June sunlight – Vince Clarke.

“Vince Clarke is taking on the challenge of adapting the ballroom minuet as a fantastic club tune, bringing his experience with slick synthesizer sounds to the table”. Wow. Any press release that simultaneously boasts the flavours of Erasure, Yazoo and Depeche Mode is certainly worth taking a look at.

The second promising point about this gay adaptation of a contemporary adaptation of a Mozart adaptation of a Byronic poetic adaptation of a historical legend, is that London Pride have granted a free preview performance to take place in Trafalgar Square, before The Gay Don goes on tour to San Francisco and Berlin.

In this new and probably not improved (but fun all the same) production, the title character Don Giovanni becomes a wealthy and sexually irresponsible gay nightclub entrepreneur. We imagine the show’s translator Ranjit Bolt had fun with Mozart’s painstaking accounts of sexual rejection for his characters, converting these courtly defeats into a Heaven-esque environment. We’re hoping for multiple smoke machines too.

So from the cold unrequited depths of Mozart’s heart comes an even colder 80s nightlife dystopia of Midori on ice, The Gay Don is well worth checking out as part of your London Pride plans. Some members of Team GT will be there sporting ‘Wild!’ and ‘Wonderland’ t-shirts, although once Vince’s song is over we might vocalise an erratic phobia for pigeons, make our excuses and move on.

The tour destinations for The Gay Don tour will be decided democratically by a website poll. To vote and to find any other information about The Gay Don visit their website:

For information on London Pride click here.

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