Just a few months since David Bowie’s passing, Adrian Berry’s new play From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads is a homage to and celebration of one of the greatest musical figures of all time.
A young man with an illness no one can understand receives an unexpected gift on his 18th birthday, propelling him on a surreal and thrilling journey to London.
He performs on the stage where Ziggy Stardust was born, finds himself in Bowie’s bedroom and is led on a treasure trail to discover the truth about himself and his family.
What follows will change his life forever in a theatrical road movie evoking Bowie’s London, with a Bowie soundtrack and nods to Bowie’s heroes and influences.
Alex Walton plays all the parts in the solo show which plays Worthing’s Connaught Studio on Wednesday, November 9; the Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, Havant on November 10; and Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham on November 23.
“It’s about this boy called Martin who gets a letter on his 18th birthday from his dad that he hasn’t seen for 16 years.
“The letter is relatively vague, but contains a map which brings him on a journey to Bowie’s London, going to all the places associated with Bowie, the places he hung out, where he recorded.
“Martin goes on this journey on the pretence that he is going to meet his dad at the end of it, and it takes you through his personal experiences and the people he meets. I play the narrator and Martin and all the other characters.
“Martin has spent 16 years of his life hoping to meet his dad. He finds a box that has lots of Bowie memorabilia, and he develops this Bowie obsession through the material that his dad has left.
“He puts all of his obsession with Bowie onto his relationship with his dad. He doesn’t know this letter is coming, but he sees it as like the light at the end of the tunnel.
“He sees it as the thing he has been waiting for to lay to rest all the problems of his past.
“He has got an eating disorder. It is not specified what it is. The play didn’t want to focus on that side of his character, but it gives him a vulnerability when he is going to London that makes it all the more daunting for him as someone who is more reliant on all the people around him.
“He is extremely excited but as the journey goes on, things start to unwind and the cracks start to show.
“The piece is definitely about Martin. It is not about Bowie as such. It is about this obsession that Martin has with Bowie, and it has got lots of Bowie references and lots of music.
“I had to take each character as a separate entity. I concentrated first on Martin to try to get into an 18-year-old’s head. I had to concentrate on the innocence, the fact that he has led a relatively-sheltered life, out of choice and also out of circumstances. He has not had the ability to develop street nous, and trying to get into that was quite interesting.
“And then I tried to get into the other characters. There is a shop owner who is like a surrogate father to him, an old rocker, and that was interesting to research. And I am also playing his mum.
“I didn’t want it to be a caricature. In the play, I am not trying to be a woman or put on a woman’s voice. I just want to be a representation of that mother figure.”
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