From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
Martin has an illness nobody understands. This one man show written and directed by Adrian Berry is about far more than David Bowie. An 18 year old fan of Bowie who lost his father at the age of 2, peels back the layers of social isolation, eating disorders, anxiety and trying to come to terms with his father’s death, in addition to an alcoholic mother. It’s impossible not to feel sorry for Martin as he embarks on a journey to London, guided by a letter from his late father, who also loved Bowie. Travelling in the footsteps of his father he visits Bowie’s school, home, a Croyden pub where Bowie performed, and finally Soho where Martin at last begins to feel a sense of belonging, before moving to the last and tragic destination. In a recent interview with The Mumble, From Ibiza…. writer/director, Adrian Berry, described his creation as;
Three stories that converge – a tale of our capital city and things that are lost, about a boy with mental health problems who escapes through his fantasies, and the amazing birth, childhood and journey of David Bowie. It all comes together at the end, and people seem to love it, happily.
Alex Walton delivers a solid performance as the troubled teenager; whose only solace is through his love of Bowie; he knows he is different, but Bowie makes it cool to be different. Bowie is also his only real link to his father. There isn’t a great deal of silver lining to this show, and I was left wondering whether Martin would come through it all or not. However, Walton takes on the character convincingly and it is a very honest and raw depiction of adolescence, loss and mental illness. The voice over of Bowie (Rob Newman) was convincing and haunting, as well as the small parts also acted by Walton, in addition to the voice over of Glenda the counsellor, all made for a compelling performance.
Although I felt there could have been more music and content about Bowie from the obsessive Martin, it is an in-depth and honest portrayal of a troubled upbringing and the powerful influence of musicians.
Reviewer : Sophie Younger