Tom GK: What Bowie Did Next (2 stars)

This article is from 2017

Tom GK: What Bowie Did Next

A lukewarm tribute of sorts with a redemptive flourish

David Bowie is looking a little bit worse for wear. His make-up is smudged, his outfit is a very un-glam black leggings and t-shirt combo, and he's being played by Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski (as Tom GK). What Bowie Did Next opens with the recently-departed music legend's journey into the afterlife and his dismay at finding out that there's not much of an afterparty.

Unfolding gently, a little bit like a children's TV programme from the black and white days ('follow me now children') mixed with the Mighty Boosh's musical adventures, the audience joins him on a scripted quest through heaven to continue Bowie's music career via multiple musical impressions. Like last year's debut effort Rights and Responsibilities (Or How a Horse Was Tried for Murder), GK merges mimicry with political allegory but, in this instance, neither is developed fully.

Michael Jackson is done cheaply with jokes about skin colour and paedophilia while Freddie Mercury is belatedly derided for breaking the United Nations cultural boycott to play concerts in apartheid South Africa. His musical method of requesting donations at the end, though, is one of the best around, and brings the curtain down on an underdeveloped production with a redemptive note.

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What Bowie Did Next

  • 2 stars

Tom Gk What does David Bowie – one of history’s most widely acclaimed and adored musicians – do when he arrives in heaven? Try to form the greatest band ever, of course. Yet, as he visits fellow icons including Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury and, of course, Lou Reed, the Thin White Duke begins to realise that something…