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Stars turn out for London launch of David Bowie musical Lazarus

Published 09/11/2016

Michael C Hall in the David Bowie musical Lazarus
Michael C Hall in the David Bowie musical Lazarus

A star-studded audience took their seats at the press launch of David Bowie's musical, Lazarus, as it returned to the late singer's home city.

Actors Bill Nighy and Jude Law, model Kate Moss and Bob Geldof attended the show at London's King's Cross Theatre on Tuesday.

Ben Whishaw, Gary Kemp and Rufus Sewell also turned up for the performance, based on the idea of a sequel to the 1976 film The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Dexter star Michael C Hall played Thomas Newton, the mysterious extraterrestrial played by Bowie in the film, as he battles through the heartache of lost love, alcoholism, and a growing yearning to return to his native planet, all from his New York apartment.

The entire two-hour show is set in the apartment, transformed every minute by stunning visual and audio effects, while a band plays the score - including reinventions of some of Bowie's best-loved tracks - from a studio built into the stage.

Co-written by Enda Walsh and directed by Ivo van Hove, producer Robert Fox described Bowie's musical as "a very personal" production "dealing with one man's struggle at the end of his life".

He told the Press Association: "His (Bowie's) legacy has been amplified in this production. He loved this production. If he hadn't, we wouldn't be doing it here or anywhere else.

"It had a huge impact on me. I always wanted to work with David and when he first mentioned the subject matter I was kind of surprised, but the moment I realised what it could be, I became very excited and it's been probably one of the most fulfilling productions that I have ever had the privilege to be part of."

He added that the creative process had been "blessed" as every person the team approached to be involved "said yes, immediately".

Bowie's death in January, following a battle with liver cancer, triggered a day of mourning across the entertainment industry, just as his latest album Blackstar was released.

Lazarus - which shares its title with the album's third track - was one of his final projects.

Fox said that, despite the success of the production, "there is a gaping hole in the middle of our group and the huge element of sadness that David will not be here to witness what he wanted so much to see - Lazarus rising nightly in his home town".

Lazarus is said to have broken box office records after quickly selling out in New York.

It will be running in London until January 22 2017, with tickets available from £15.

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