It’s the weekend and what better place to be than the magical world of David Bowie Lazarus in Kings Cross. Like Harry Potter, Kings Cross Station was the start of my journey, north to school at the beginning of each term.
However, today’s magic was in the Kings Cross Theatre, immediately behind the station, where the musical Lazarus by David Bowie and Enda Walsh was starting its run into mid January. Lazarus focuses on Thomas Newton, the character David Bowie was almost born to play in the film ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ he starred in. An uncomfortable film when I saw it in 1976, The Man Who Fell to Earth play was also compelling with its stripped down scenery and bleak plot.
Lazarus has an almost empty stage, a bed and fridge are the props. Perhaps borrowing from the Pet Shop Boys (who Bowie collaborated with) at the Savoy 20 years ago where characters walked in and out of film’s shown on either side of the stage to give the performance – a projecting box in Lazarus served as a base for the play’s small cast to appear from. The appalling seating at the Kings Cross Theatre made following Lazarus difficult through a sea of heads down towards the stage, whose floor was totally obscured. I had booked the very last row however extra rows were added at the rear behind me, doubtless reducing the overall viewing angle. Non the less the actors and natural appeal, for me, of anything Bowie made for an engaging musical that did keep the audience’s attention over a non-stop 90minute performance.