This heartwarming and vivid production about one boy’s journey of self-discovery and mission to find his dad – told through the life and music of David Bowie.
Martin is a teenage boy with problems: his dad left when he was two and he suffers with an illness that no one understands, but the one thing that keeps him grounded and brings him out of his shell slightly is his love of David Bowie. On his birthday he is given a letter from his father, which takes Martin on a journey back into his musical hero’s past.
Adrian Berry’s play (who also directs) relies a lot on music and sound as opposed to providing any visual aids to help set the scene of Martin’s adventures – an interesting concept that is well put together but at the same time means you are focused more on picturing the scenes as opposed to the story itself.
Yet, the sparseness of Andie Scott’s set means that the audience is utterly focused on the deeply fascinating performance of Alex Walton, whose ability to switch between a number of different characters with ease and style is mesmerising. He has a deeply psychological attitude towards the character with every movement and is quirky but charming. The scene in which he visits David Bowie’s childhood bedroom is endearing and heartfelt, his obvious delight is just one such moment in which you realise the importance that hero’s play in our lives.
It is a very poetic production, that flows with great ease and simplicity but yet it still leaves the audience with a few questions – what happens to Martin after reading the final letter from his father? does he become responsive to help for his illness? does he repair his relationship with his mother? The ending just feels slightly unfinished and so doesn’t fully satisfy the audience as it should.
But overall, it is a sensitive and delightful production in terms of the way in which it manages to blend a music legend’s music with a story of an ordinary boy who admires him. It is a real reminder of just how important it is to have people to look up to.
From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads is playing at the Waterloo East Theatre until the 6th November. For more information and to book tickets visit: http://www.waterlooeast.co.uk/from%20ibiza%20to%20the%20norfok%20broads.html