Starman (3 stars)

This article is from 2016


Sven Ratzke leads a fitting tribute to Bowie

Sven Ratzke stalks the stage, flirts shamelessly with the men in the audience and weaves the tale of a time traveller dropped from a white hole in space, tasked with finding his place in the world.

The between-songs chat is kitschy and tongue-in-cheek: the protagonist (who may or may not be you or Ratzke or someone entirely different) wakes up naked in Central Park, flees to the Chelsea Hotel with Andy Warhol and lounges by the Hollywood Hills with Elizabeth Taylor. This fantastical story is buoyed up by the appropriate Bowie soundtrack to match the situation.

Taking on the songs is where Ratzke shines, his voice is amazing and in a certain light there's almost a look of Bowie about him too. From an androgynous 'Rebel Rebel' to a raunched-up 'Time', he's got the Bowie sound locked down and the audience in his palm. The in between chatter could be sacrificed to allow more time to appreciate a really fabulous tribute.

'Space Oddity' and 'Life on Mars?' mark the show's zenith and the audience is let go with a renewed reminder of the incredible legacy Bowie left behind.

Assembly George Square Gardens, until 28 Aug (not 15, 22), 8.45pm, £15–£16 (£13–14).


  • 3 stars

Sven Ratzke Sven Ratzke brings his globally renowned show to Edinburgh for the first time. Inspired by David Bowie, and accompanied by his brilliant three-man band led by the longtime collaborator Charly Zastrau, the music grooves from seventies glam rock into sound collages and intimate moments. A starburst of cabaret…