Thirty years ago, amid familiar headlines of austerity and social unrest, a highly theatrical movement of painted young hedonists emerged from the gloom like fireworks in the night sky.
At the forefront were the performance artists Leigh Bowery and a colourful piece of social flotsam called George O'Dowd. From the sticky carpets of squats rose George, a London 'face' like few before. Openly gay, heavily made-up and with a glint in his eye, Boy George soon became a frequent fixture at the London scene's key clubs and, for owners, a welcome addition. To have the likes of Bowery, O'Dowd and pop icons Marilyn and Steve Strange knocking about your joint meant your club was part of an exclusive circuit.
At the heart were two venues, Bowery's Taboo nightclub and Strange's Blitz, and one band - Boy George's Culture Club. In 2002, this influential time in music and fashion provided the backdrop to the musical production Taboo, produced with original music and lyrics by George himself. Soon after it also ran on Broadway, with somewhat less success (it closed after 100 performances) but not before it had added to an impressive trophy cabinet of awards. To date, Taboo has won an Olivier (for actor Paul Baker), a Drama Desk gong and picked up four Tony nominations. And the hit show is returning to London and a new venue in the autumn.
Taboo runs at the Brixton Club House from 6th September until 23rd December 2012. We have tickets available now, priced from just £10, rising to £32.50.