Sam Burcher dot com

Sam Burcher, news views and bits inbetween......

December 7th 2016

In a year of striking loss of notable people, David Bowie leaves us a musical to confound our shattered minds

 

Bowie Lazarus

In a transformed and magical Kings Cross, a spacious pop-up theatre with black walls and dark corridors is playing a musical built on songs by David Bowie. The set is ominously taupe: taupe bedcovers are strewn over a bed, and the leading actor dressed head to toe in taupe is already on stage as the crowd is ushered to their seats. Behind aquarium glass windows hung with taupe curtains, the band is poised to play.

The story picks up where the film The Man Who Fell to Earth, written by Walter Tevis and starring David Bowie left off. Bowie’s original character, the alien Thomas Newton played admirably here by Michael C Hall, has succumbed to a life of perpetual gin and Twinkies after being abandoned by his lover Mary Lou. His personal assistant Elly, a sexual anorexic, becomes obsessed with Mary Lou; colouring her hair to look like her and wearing her left-behind clothes. As Newton’s mental health unravels, a muse appears in a form of a girl (gifted newcomer 15 year old Sophia Anne Caruso) who tells him she knows a way he can return to his home planet. But with her comes a host of dark entities who commit unspeakable acts and force Newton to do the same. The intensity creates madness, addiction and a desire to escape reality.

Songs from Blackstar, Hunky Dory, Low, Heroes, Scary Monsters, Absolute Beginners, and The Next Day, interpreted by the original New York cast assuage fans as colourful projections, sticky tape, strange liquids, sex and violence animate the taupe. David Bowie’s last public appearance was the opening night of Lazarus off Broadway in December 2015. He has left a musical cannon that will resonate forever and Lazarus reflects the fragility and frustrations of our imperfect life on earth.

Lazarus plays until 21 January 2017 at the Kings Cross Theatre