A final dress rehearsal for Lindsay Kemp’s mime production Pierrot In Turquoise took place on 4 March 1968, ahead of its opening night at London’s Mercury Theatre.
The musical had opened at Oxford’s New Theatre on 28 December 1967, followed by three nights in January 1968 at the Rosehill Theatre in Whitehaven. On 5 March it began a 12-night run at the Mercury.
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.
This leg of the production was directed by Jean-Pierre Voos, with music arranged by Gordon Rose. The costumes were designed by Natasha Kornilof, who would work with Bowie on several occasions throughout the 1970s.
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.
Peter and Leni Gillman
Bowie sang seven of his own songs during this run of the production, with piano accompaniment by Michael Garrett: ‘When I Live My Dream’, ‘Sell Me A Coat’, ‘Silly Boy Blue’, ‘Love You Till Tuesday’, ‘There Is A Happy Land’, ‘Come And Buy My Toys’, and ‘Maid Of Bond Street’.
Also on this day...
- 1972: Live: South Parade Pier, Southsea
- 1966: Live: David Bowie and the Buzz, Chislehurst Caves
- 1966: Television: Ready Steady Go!
- 1965: Live: Davie Jones and the Manish Boys, RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire
Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.