Stage: Pierrot In Turquoise, New Theatre, Oxford

David Bowie spent much of December 1967 preparing for his role in Lindsay Kemp’s stage production Pierrot In Turquoise. The musical opened at Oxford’s New Theatre on 28 December 1967.

Kemp was a formative influence on Bowie, who learned mime and other forms of stagecraft from him. Bowie also collaborated with costume designer Natasha Kornilof, who would work with him on several occasions throughout the 1970s. Bowie became the lover of both Kemp and Kornilof during his time working on Pierrot In Turquoise.

There were just three performers in Pierrot In Turquoise: Lindsay Kemp in the title role, David Bowie as Cloud, and Jack Birkett (a blind performer also known as the Great Orlando) as Harlequin. The play told the story of Pierrot’s attempts to win the love of Cloud. However, Cloud fell for Harlequin, and was killed by the jealous Pierrot.

In the early shows Bowie sang ‘When I Live My Dream’, ‘Sell Me A Coat’, and ‘Come And Buy My Toys’, accompanied on the piano by Michael Garrett.

Kemp made his entrance by descending in a white hammock that represented the moon, while David, as Cloud, flitted about him. David wore a papier-mâché mask modelled on Kemp’s face, and the Great Orlando held up the frame of a mirror so that Kemp could paint himself with moonbeams.
Alias David Bowie
Peter and Leni Gillman

Pierrot In Turquoise had just one showing at the New Theatre before moving to Whitehaven in Cumbria from 3-5 January 1968.

Bowie’s complete run in Pierrot In Turquoise ran to 21 nights: 28 December 1967; 3, 4, 5 January 1968; 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 March 1968; and 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 March 1968.

Bowie returned to the New Theatre during the Ziggy Stardust Tour on 30 May, 25 June, and 26 June 1973.

Last updated: 10 May 2023
Radio: Top Gear
Travel: London to Whitehaven
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