Monday 26 September 2016

David Bowie teaming up with Irish playwright Enda Walsh for stage show based on his 1976 science-fiction film

Published 02/04/2015 | 16:51

David Bowie
David Bowie
Cillian Murphy and Enda Walsh.

Irish playwright Enda Walsh is teaming up with Starman David Bowie to develop a new stage play.

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The off-Broadway show will be based on cult 70s film The Man who Fell to Earth and will feature new songs written by Bowie alongside “new arrangements of older songs”.

The play, titled Lazarus, will tell the tale of alcoholic alien-turned-inventor Thomas Newton - who Mr. Bowie portrayed in the 1976 film.

The play is being produced by the New York Theater Workshop and will be directed by Belgian avant garde director Ivo van Howe.

Dublin born Walsh, who wrote acclaimed stage plays ‘Disco Pigs’, ‘The Walworth Farce’ and ‘Ballyturk’ and adapted the movie ‘Once’ into a Tony Award winning stage play, has been working on the project for several months.

The first performances are scheduled for winter 2015 but artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop, James C Nicola, stressed the production is still in its infancy.

“It’s going to be a play with characters and songs,” he told the New York Times. “I’m calling it music theatre, but I don’t really know what it’s going to be like, I just have incredible trust in their creative vision. I’m really excited about it.”

Mr Nicola stressed the play will not simply rehash the 1976 film but revisit Walter Tevis’s 1963 novel.

This will not be Bowie’s first theatrical venture; in the early 1980s, he spent three months playing the title role in “The Elephant Man” on Broadway

Bowie stunned his fans two yeas ago when he made a surprise comeback and suddenly released a new single on his 66th birthday with an album out just weeks later after 10 years of silence.

The star has made a habit of confounding the critics - killing off his Ziggy Stardust persona at the height of his fame - and reinventing himself in roles including glam rocker, soul singer and hippie songwriter.

His role in The Man Who Fell To Earth played on his alien alter-ego and made the film, directed by Nicolas Roeg, a cult classic.

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