Space Theatre, Wed 22 Jun.
Not to be confused with your average ‘tribute show’, Starman is instead an eccentric, dreamlike monologue interspersed with the genius of David Bowie as Dutch/German cabaret artist Sven Ratzke takes the audience on a glam-packed ride through space, place and sound. At the same time, Ratzke is a magnificent showman – with the sequins and shoulder pads to match – and channels the characters and eccentricities of those Bowie years with all the delight and sensitivity of a true Bowie believer.
Ratzke’s interpretations of many of Bowie’s best loved songs were consistently appreciated by an audience held firmly in the palm of his flashy hands, magnificently supported by his three-piece band [Musical Director Charly Zastrau on keys, Haye Jellema on drums and Florian Friedrich on bass] that symbiotically responded to the light and shade his every musical command and nuance. Rebel Rebel, Time, Rock‘n’Roll Suicide and Space Oddity were all there, as was a beautifully tenderised version of Heroes.
Lighting was consistently spectacular, even when it wasn’t, with Ratzke calling out ‘techie stuff ups’ with great mirth (and without seeming to break character!) – and whether these moments were ‘gags’ or not, the fact remains that in Ratzke’s hands the comedy was pure gold. He is such an engaging entertainer, his glorious grin never far away and his interactions with the audience were beautifully managed and provided much mirth throughout the night. Ratzke is surreal in the truest sense of the word – bizarre, dreamlike and brilliantly odd in a way that is all his own.
If you’re a Bowie fan, you’ll love the show. If you’re a cabaret fan you’ll love the show. If you simply appreciate fabulous entertainment with genuine heart, you’ll also love this show.
Rosie van Heerde
Sven Ratzke performs Starman at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, from 7.30pm until Sat 25 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Additional words by Catherine Blanch
Image courtesy of Hanneke Wetzer
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