Stage: Pierrot In Turquoise, Intimate Theatre, London

David Bowie appeared in Lindsay Kemp’s mime production Pierrot In Turquoise in the early months of 1968.

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. This was the first night of a five-date run at the Intimate Theatre in Palmers Green, London.

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.

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

David Bowie and Lindsay Kemp in Pierrot In Turquoise, London, March 1968

The costumes were designed by Natasha Kornilof, who would work with Bowie on several occasions throughout the 1970s. Bowie became the lover of both Kemp and Kornilof during his time working on Pierrot In Turquoise.

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’.

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.

Last updated: 15 March 2023
Rehearsal: Pierrot In Turquoise, Intimate Theatre, London
Recording: Everything Is You, When I'm Five by The Beatstalkers
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