THE UGLY ONE: The Makeover

“The Ugly One is a story about beauty and identity and vanity and ambition. It follows the story of a man called Lette who invents a plug and he wants to present this plug at a convention but he’s told that he’s not able to present this plug because his face is unacceptable. And so he goes and gets plastic surgery to he can make his face more acceptable, but emerges as the most beautiful man ever to existed. And, then the world kind of spirals into madness.” - Roy Alexander Weise, Director

The ‘makeover’ has been a big part of film culture in the last twenty years or so. The shy, not particularly attractive main character gets an aesthetic upgrade in order to face society, but the consequences are not always the ones they expected. What will happen to The Ugly One’s Lette as he steps out of surgery as the most handsome man on earth? Perhaps these three makeover movies can help us find out…

My Fair Lady may quite possibly be the archetype of ‘makeover movies’. Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), a poor flower seller with a strong Cockney accent, meets one night in Covent Garden Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) who bets he can pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball only by teaching her the proper phonetics. Eliza gets a full-on makeover as well as diction lesson, and gets mistaken for a Hungarian princess. Nevertheless, she realises all her efforts have only turned her into a beautiful, proper shell. Professor Higgins does not care for her future and she no longer fits in her old life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDEKjNUmR6U&t=77s

Mean Girls is without a doubt the most quoted movie on the internet. Pushed by her friend Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan), new girl Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) infiltrates the school’s hit girls close circle, the ‘plastics’ to get revenge on them and win the love of Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett). The plan works perfectly and Cady moulds into one of the plastics, but the prettier she gets the uglier she becomes inside… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT8wMBeVffk

As Lette knows, makeovers don’t just happen to women! In The Shape of Things nerdy English Lit student Adam Sorenson (Paul Rudd) meets attractive graduate art student Evelyn Ann Thompson (Rachel Weisz). Having never had much success with girls, Adam is flattered by Evelyn’s interest in him and lets her shape him into a more attractive man through a new hairstyle, new clothes, a new fitness regimen, and finally plastic surgery. Evelyn’s intentions, however, turn out to be less then noble, and Adam’s new beauty only breaks up his best friends’ relationship and leaves him lonelier than before.

Before the 2003 film, The Shape of Things was a new play at London’s Almeida in 2001 and featured the same cast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5teEjd5esBA

The Ugly One is at Park Theatre from 1-24 of June. BUY TICKETS HERE.

 

THE UGLY ONE: A Brief History of Social Media's Explosion.

A brief look at the themes explored in The Ugly One would make anyone think the play must have been written in the last couple of years, yet the truth is this little gem has first debuted in 2007.

Indra Ové who is playing Fanny thinks so too: “The Ugly One deals with the me culture, the selfie culture that we’re dealing with now and it tells that in such a brilliant way. So I think it’s absolutely relevant right now.”

In the last decade, we have been sharing more and more of our lives online, not only for our friends and family to see, but for the entire world. So how have the last ten years turned this Orwellian scenario into the status quo?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

The first ever iPhone was released on 29 June 2007, it was the first time that mobile phone users were able to go online as easily as they might send a text message – in 2007 we may have taken selfies with a digital camera but the iPhone allowed users to snap selfies and instantly upload them online. Since then over 700 million iPhones have been sold.

2007 also saw the debut of Selfie Queen Kim Kardashian in Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Over the past ten years over 180 episodes have aired and we can’t imagine social media feeds without Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie.

2007 also saw the launch of Tumblr, a microblogging and social networking website, which allowed users to post images, videos and short blogs. As of April 2017, Tumblr now hosts of 341.8 million blogs.

In 2007, 50 million of us were putting our lives and photos online on Facebook. In 2017 it now has nearly 2 billion.

So much has changed in how we view ourselves in the past ten years, but The Ugly One remains as relevant as it was ten years ago. 

FROM THE REHEARSAL ROOM: The Ugly One

Rehearsals are now underway for Buckland Theatre Company’s ten year anniversary production of Marius von Mayenburg’s The Ugly One which will play at Park90 at Park Theatre from 1 – 24 June. 

The Ugly One was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre in 2007 and is a very funny social satire which follows Lette, a talented engineer, who is told he is too ugly to succeed. He undergoes radical surgery to make himself more acceptable but realises that there may be a thing as being too beautiful.

We asked our fantastic cast what they loved about the play when they first read it. 

“I love the absurd nature of the play.” Said Charlie Dorfman who is playing the titular ugly one, Lette. “It’s very crazy but very super-smart but darkly funny.”

The continuing brilliance of the script is an opinion shared by T’Nia, Arian and Indra who make up the rest of the cast.  

“The first time I read it, I thought it was hilarious.” Said T’Nia Miller who is playing Scheffler. “It was so fricking funny (I can say fricking, right?). If you want to have a good night out, and laugh your head off, and hear things that we may think but never say – it’s bloody funny!”

Arian Nik who is playing Karlmann agrees, “It’s really funny, we struggle to keep a straight face during the rehearsal and we’ll struggle to keep a straight face during the performance as well, I’m sure!” 

As well as being funny, the play is also ripe for revival given the surge of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snpachat over the past decade, making the story of beauty standards more relevant than ever. 

The Ugly One deals with the me culture, the selfie culture that we’re dealing with now and it tells that in such a brilliant way.” Said Indra Ové who is playing Fanny. “So I think it’s absolutely relevant right now.” 

We can’t wait to see them in action at Park90 in a couple of weeks!

Get your tickets at HERE!