Review By Benjamin Lamb
The half circus show half rock tribute to the legendary David Bowie is an extremely memorable show suitable for all ages and types of fans.
The well-manicured ensemble sauntered onto the Wednesday night stage with thunderous applause, bringing the rock with Suffragette City, showing the audience the high quality musicians each of them are.
There was then a bit of explanation about what the show will entail; a bit of circus, a bit of fun, and lots of high quality music, and Rebel didn’t disappoint.
Continuing on with this amazing energy they opened with, they go on to play arguably Bowie’s biggest song, Space Oddity. This was coupled with the first circus element, being the focal point of the song, with the band sticking in the background, and the performer doing rope work centre stage.
Then we got hit after hit from Bowie’s discography, all matched with a related circus performance, from a tightrope work on wine bottles to a backwards solo ukulele performance on a swing, truly amazingly wacky things that need to be seen to be believed.
With Bowie’s jukebox musical Lazarus receiving many mixed reviews due to its difficulty to follow, this show easily has the makings of an official Bowie musical. The circus elements suiting the quirky nature and futuristic ambience many of Bowie’s songs portray.
There was the perfect mix of music and physical performances, at times, the circus aspects of the show felt front and centre, whereas through some of Bowie’s heavier songs, it felt secondary to the music, almost acting as a compliment to the sounds rather than the central focus, which helped the show progress, and gave a number of Bowie’s songs a deeper meaning, as the physical acts worked as somewhat of an interpretive performance.
Personally, a high point of Rebel was the group’s performance of Bowie’s hit Ziggy Stardust, throughout the piece, each member of the band had a smile on their faces, the piece clearly meaning a lot to the group, and this energy was perfectly transported to the audience, with a palpable excitement and drive being felt throughout the performance of the piece. It even feeling more powerful and energetic than a number of live performances from the man himself. Then as the show started to wind down, we got some important Bowie tracks, like the title track Rebel Rebel, and the iconic Heroes, both pieces being very well rehearsed, and the group not missing a single note.
To close out Rebel, the talented group performed Bowie’s iconic song with Queen, Under Pressure, which was absolutely faultless, any Queen song being difficult to replicate, but this group of musicians killed it, leaving the audience with a smile on their face as they left the theatre on Wednesday night. Rebel is a must see for all fans of music, you wouldn’t even have to be a fan of Bowie to enjoy this show, the blend of quirky performance art and acrobatics making it a truly enjoyable time for all. It’s a great show to take the family to these school holidays.