Bowie musical Lazarus to open in London

‘Unapologetically weird’ show, one of the star’s final projects, to run this winter at King’s Cross Theatre

David Bowie’s stage musical Lazarus, a sequel to The Man Who Fell to Earth, is to open in London a year after its sold-out run in New York.

The show’s producers announced that it would open at King’s Cross Theatre in November and run until January 2017, almost mirroring last year’s run at the New York Theatre Workshop.

Lazarus was one of Bowie’s last projects, and he made his final public appearance, before his death in January, at the show’s opening last December.

Michael C Hall, best known as an affable serial killer in the TV show Dexter, will reprise his leading role as alien Thomas Newton, the character Bowie made famous in the 1976 Nicolas Roeg movie.

Written by Bowie and Enda Walsh, the show was well received by critics although the Guardian’s Alexis Soloski said in her review: “It will be many years before we see a jukebox musical as unapologetically weird as Lazarus.”

Giving it four stars she praised the “dedication and verve” of the creative team and cast and concluded: “It’s nearly impossible not to be persuaded and baffled and at least a little thrilled.”

In the New York Times review Ben Brantley called it “great-sounding, great-looking and mind-numbing”.

Bowie at the Theatre Workshop in New York for the premiere of Lazarus in December 2015.
Bowie at the Theatre Workshop in New York for the premiere of Lazarus in December 2015. Photograph: BR/dana press/PA

Lazarus, a sequel to Walter Tevis’s novel, is directed by one of the world’s most in-demand directors, the Belgian Ivo van Hove who cancelled another major project in 2015 in order to be able to work on the Bowie show.

The show features Newton, an alien who arrived on Earth on a quest to send water to his doomed, dehydrated planet, now residing in an empty Manhattan penthouse, living off gin and Twinkies.

It features new songs written by Bowie but mostly numbers from his back catalogue, including Changes, Absolute Beginners and Heroes.

The New York run sold out within hours. It begins previews in London on 25 October and runs until 22 January.


Mark Brown Arts correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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