Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Shoes and frogs

Today, an oddity opens in the Dorfman Theatre (formerly known as The Cottesloe) at The National here in London.

An unlikely collaboration between two musical icons - David Byrne of Talking Heads, and dance music's own "national treasure" Fat Boy Slim - a "sequinned, disco-dancing spectacle" charting the rise and fall of shoe-lover and tyrant Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines is an odd choice of subject for a musical, one might think!

Quoted in The Guardian, Mr Byrne said:
“I knew that Imelda was given to memorable pronouncements and aphorisms and outrageous behaviour, some of it amusing and some of it horrific, but the fact that she immersed herself in the disco club world was a big selling point.

“When I heard she had a giant mirror ball in her New York townhouse and turned the roof of the palace in Manila into a dancing club, I thought ‘she really surrounded herself with this music and created her own soundtrack to her life.’ Disco was a genre that I was uncomfortable with but keen to explore, so with those factors in mind I thought, ‘let’s see if there’s a story to be told here’.”
Lyrics in the show [Here Lies Love] were often lifted directly from speeches, interviews, recordings from the time and even Marcos’s high school yearbook. One song is taken verbatim from a speech that Benigno Aquino gave about President Marcos building arts centres and not doing enough for the shanty towns in Manila, while another is based on quotes from an oral history of the People Power revolution that Byrne stumbled across.


It might well be a hoot! We'll see...

In tribute to this remarkably odd piece of news, here's another unlikely combination - none other than Kermit the Frog's very own tribute to Talking Heads' biggest hit Once in a Lifetime...


David Byrne and Norman Cook's Here Lies Love is on a strictly limited run at The National Theatre from 30th September 2014 to 8th January 2015 - book tickets here


  1. It sounds more fun than Made in Dagenham - I liked the film... but a musical version???
    So yes, I think I'd rather see a musical about Imelda Marcos...shoes, disco, sounds like a winner!

    1. There certainly has been a glut of "unlikely choices for a musical" lately - "Rocky: The Musical", anyone? On its way to a theatre near you soon. How about "Carrie"? It's been done. "Super Mario Brothers"? "Heathers"? "Back to the Future"? Yup - they all now have song scores.

      "Imelda Marcos: the Musical" suddenly seems less bizarre. Jx

  2. sounds like it could be a winner?
    i'll await your review!

    1. If I can/do get a ticket, obviously... Jx


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