Final David Bowie musical to extend to London

The late David Bowie in a still from one of his last music videos, Blackstar.
The late David Bowie in a still from one of his last music videos, Blackstar.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

NEW YORK (AFP) - Lazarus, the science-fiction musical co-written by David Bowie in one of his final works, will return to the stage, this time in London, the production announced Monday (July 25).

The rock legend wrote the music for Lazarus, which premiered in November at a small theatre in New York.

An opening gala in December marked Bowie's last public appearance before he died on Jan 10 from an undisclosed battle with cancer.

Kings Cross Theatre in London said that Lazarus, a coveted ticket in New York even before Bowie's death, would open Oct 25 and run until Jan 22.

Directed by Belgian dramatist Ivo van Hove, one of the few non-family members who knew of Bowie's illness, Lazarus will feature much of the New York cast.

Michael C. Hall - best known from the television series Dexter - will return in the lead role of Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who arrives on Earth in search of water and discovers he cannot return as he discovers the delights of alcohol and TV.

The song Lazarus also appeared on Blackstar, Bowie's final album which came out two days before his death on his 69th birthday.

A video for Lazarus foreshadows Bowie's death as he levitates over a hospital bed with buttons over his eyes and retreats into a closet with outfits from his storied musical past.

Van Hove later said that Bowie had in essence wanted to put his own death on stage with Lazarus.

The song opens with the line, "Look up here, I'm in heaven."

Bowie was one of the most influential artists of his generation, pioneering glam rock before experimenting with soul, disco, hard rock and electronica.

A trained actor, Bowie won acclaim for his portrayal of severely deformed Englishman Joseph Merrick in a 1980-1981 New York production of The Elephant Man.

Lazarus is based on the 1963 novel The Man Who Fell To Earth by Walter Tevis.

Bowie starred in the main role in a 1976 film version, also entitled The Man Who Fell To Earth.

But the movie did not feature Bowie's music due to contractual disputes.