Bowie, Lazarus & Happiness
December 7th 2015 was David Bowie’s last public appearance. On the same date in 2016 I’m sitting 3rd row from the front at the Kings Cross Theatre in London, watching Lazarus. A perfect birthday present seat right in the middle of the row with a wide gaze view of the whole stage.
I don’t read reviews before a production. I’m aware that my attention will be caught by the very highlights that the reviewer mentioned, which will lead to some unconscious bias.
The show was in a way so full of complex layers that my overall impression was ‘here is a piece that should be studied by art, theatre & drama students’. The set, musicians, costumes, lighting, sound, emotion is all full on and yet also subtle and hiding. I could have spent the whole show just watching the changing landscapes being shown on the wall behind the musicians, or a whole show listening to the music, or a whole show studying just one character on stage.
The word I would use to describe the production is ‘complex’. But isn’t that what you would expect?
Had it been shallow and surface and frivolous upbeat, a showreel of greatest Bowie hits it would have disappointed. Yes, there was confusion, questions left unanswered. Yes, it’s full of anger and explosions of sound and colour. It’s a rich roaring expression of art and watching it made me happy.
I will make the chance to go and watch it again and if you haven’t seen it, then go.