Published Nov 11, 2015Earlier this year, it was announced that David Bowie would be co-writing a stage production called Lazarus, and the show's director Ivo van Hove has just revealed some new details about the project.
Speaking to the New York Times, van Hove explained the plot, saying: "Lazarus focuses on [protagonist Thomas] Newton as he remains on Earth, a man unable to die, his head soaked in cheap gin, and haunted by a past love. We follow Newton through the course of a few days where the arrival of another lost soul might set him free."
It's a theatrical interpretation of the 1963 Walter Tevis novel The Man Who Fell to Earth, which was also made into a film starring Bowie in 1976. The new stage version was co-written by Bowie and Tony Award-winning playwright Enda Walsh (Once) and will feature new music, as well as reworked arrangements of older Bowie compositions.
Walsh offered further insight into the themes explored through the play's main character. "This is really my territory," he said. "I understand that isolated, lonely, broken, unstable sort of character." He described Bowie's lyrics and music from the new project as "a mixture of romance and itchy violence."
The Times were treated to a preview of the show, which included "This Is Not America" (previously recorded by Bowie with Pat Metheny) and conveyed the novel's themes of "alienation, disorientation, the corruptions of earthly life, a superego overwhelmed by id." It also reportedly inherited the film adaptation's heavy emphasis on sexuality.
"The piece is broken and fractured; the information comes late," Walsh continued. "You don't know what you're watching for about 40 minutes or so."
And while the production will remain shrouded in some mystery until opening night, Walsh did hint at "a sad and shocking ending."
Read the entire piece from the New York Times over here. Previews begin on November 18, while Lazarus officially opens on December 7 at the New York Theatre Workshop.
Bowie, meanwhile, will also be releasing his new single "Blackstar" on November 20, with a new album of the same name to follow on January 8.