All Back To Bowie’s set to tackle Scottish referendum debate at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Unique take on the Scottish referendum debate through Bowie-themed musical and political salon with guest speakers including Nicola Sturgeon
This article is from 2014.
February 2014: David Bowie wins a Brit Award and uses the occasion to appeal – via a proxy, who just happens to be Kate Moss – ‘Scotland, stay with us’. Some idiots threaten to bin their Bowie collections but playwright David Greig, who describes his hero’s indyref intervention as ‘typical Bowie, quite enigmatic, delivered by an alter ego, yearning but also commanding’, chooses to respond with a Fringe show.
‘It was kind of thrilling that he cared, even though I don't think he really has any sense of what's going on,’ says Greig. ‘I love David Bowie so I take anything he says seriously. It made me think harder.’
All Back To Bowie’s is the result – a cultural salon involving music, discussion and writing inspired by the ideas thrown up around the referendum debate, with a different Bowie-titled theme to be explored each day. ‘Waiting for the Gift of Sound and Vision’ spotlights the media, ‘Suffragette City’ looks at women and independence and ‘A Godawful Small Affair’ contemplates Tory Scotland (ouch).
Confirmed guests so far include Nicola Sturgeon, Elaine C Smith, Jim Sillars and Lesley Riddoch – all firm advocates of a Yes vote. All Back To Bowie’s is not conceived as a balanced debate, but a forum for ideas.
‘As long as people know we're not 'neutral' then they'll be able to enjoy the show without feeling hectored,’ says Greig. ‘We're not trying to convert anybody. I honestly don't care if a Bowie show affects how you vote in the referendum. I only want it to be interesting, and to explore in depth the amazing flowering of ideas and politics in Scotland right now.
‘But knowledge of David Bowie is vital - because knowledge of David Bowie is vital for life.’ Surely we can all agree on that?
Stand in the Square, 558 7272, 12.20pm, 1-24 Aug, £8 (£6).