Matthew Peckham posted an update 2 months, 4 weeks ago
I saw Lazarus last night, having read Alison Croggon’s review in the Saturday Paper (May 25 -31, 2019) under the headline, ‘Space Oddity’. I arrived at the Arts Centre with very low expectations, mostly the result of reading that
[Anna] Cordingley’s design bisects the stage with a scrim that doubles as an abstract hotel window. Sometimes we can see through it; other timesit’s an opaque screen on which is projected a bricolage of evolving imagery…
All three of my companions are hard-core Bowie-devotees, a species that advances adoration far beyond its usual bounds and speaks of Bowie in terms that almost question his terrestrial origin. Bowie’s frequently-refreshed otherworldliness was, of course, the facet of his genius that made him so conspicuous – he was both artist and art-form, Galatea to his own Pygmalion. Michael Kantor has directed a production that, as Alison writes, deftly avoids being mere tribute, but as I looked to left and right from my seat in the Playhouse, I saw many people singing along and my companions all agreed that the show itself meant nothing but the music was fabulous.
I want to say how it thrilled me to see video projections dominate a performance without ruining it – they played a leading role without upstaging anyone else. Knowing how rapidly Production Company seasons are conceived, created, rehearsed and presented, I cannot find words to express my admiration for the technical team behind this one. The collaboration between Anna Cordingley and Paul Jackson and Nick Roux (Set, Lighting and Projection Designers, repectively) is exquisite, sensitive, and extremely difficult to achieve – David Miller and Mel Robertson (Technical Director and Production Manager who barely get credit in the programme), deserve to be very proud of an accomplishment that most technical teams could barely pull off inside a fortnight. They did it in about four days.
It delights me to see the Production Company step so bravely into territory so unfamiliar to them and to their usual audience, and I congratulate them.