Where to begin? Lazarus is a musical by David Bowie and Enda Walsh, based off the book, The Man Who Fell To Earth by Walter Tevis. It͛s a fairly new musical, however calling it a musical, is a slight understatement, it was completely undefinable.
The production, was very Bowie-esque, as you would expect. The story, characters and execution were very futuristic and dystopic. The plot itself is indescribable. It is an absurdist musical, with a very odd plot, if you take it metaphorically or literally, it is still a beautiful story. If you look at it, as the latter, it is a melancholic, and beautiful story of a man slowly losing his grip on reality, surrounded by characters doing the same. Either way it doesnt’t make much sense. The music fitted surprisingly well, and of course, with Bowie’s passing earlier this year, it made the songs and the whole story, far more poignant. (2016 really screwed us over didn’t it?)
Michael Esper, Valentine, was brilliant. His dark energy captured the psychotic elements of the musical, with such presence on stage, despite playing a socially awkward character for most of the show. Amy Lennox perfectly portrayed the image of someone slowly losing her identity, and all sense of herself. Finally, Michael C. Hall, and Hannah Rose Thompson, Newton, and Girl, had brilliant chemistry with each other, a beautiful father/daughter relationship. Their wistful rendition of ͚’Heroes’ at the end of the production, had me in tears. There were many individual moments and images created that complemented the piece, that portrayed the perfect tone for the show.
Speaking of images, visually, it was astounding. I don’t even know where to begin with it. The band were visible throughout the whole piece, through glass windows at the back of the stage. The use of projection throughout the whole piece was something remarkable, it immersed you within the show, despite the stage having very clear boundaries. It plunged the audience into Newton’s mind. It has to be something you see.
I would highly recommend, especially if you don’t think you will like it- it is the perfect opportunity to widen your theatrical taste. It is a beautiful, incoherent, chaotic, mess of a show.
Lazarus is playing until the 22nd of January.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year, hopefully we will see less loss in 2017 in the arts.