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David Bowie’s Lazarus to be revived in virtual reality at London’s V&A

Sophia Anne Caruso and Michael C Hall in Lazarus at the King's Cross Theatre, London, directed by Ivo van Hove. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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David Bowie’s musical Lazarus is to become a virtual reality experience at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The VR show will be part of the museum’s fourth Performance Festival, which celebrates all forms of live performance. Audiences will be able to experience a recording of the production through VR headsets on April 30.

Lazarus, a musical sequel to Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 science fiction film The Man Who Fell to Earth, was Bowie’s final project before his death in January 2016.

After opening Off-Broadway in December 2015, the production ran at London’s King’s Cross Theatre from November 2016. Playwright Enda Walsh wrote the book, and it was directed by Ivo van Hove.

The festival will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the V&A’s National Video Archive of Performance, which records live theatrical performances, with screenings of Zinnie Harris’ play How to Hold Your Breath and Dennis Kelly’s The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas.

A panel of performers, directors and academics will discuss how to translate plays into another language on April 30.

Geoffrey Marsh, director of the department of theatre and performance, said: “This year the V&A Performance Festival celebrates and explores the relationship between British and European stages. It is an eclectic programme, hugely relevant and timely, that also engages with practice more broadly and internationally.”

Other festival highlights include a conversation between actors Maureen Lipman and Juliet Stevenson, chaired by critic Matt Wolf, about their favourite theatre productions from the last 25 years.

An exhibition exploring the relationship between theatre and Europe, called The History of Europe – Told by Its Theatres, will run alongside the festival.

Most of the events are free and the festival runs from April 21 to 30.

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