The decision to go for lunch with David Bowie today proved to be the correct one.

Bowie, the musical equivalent of a method actor, was the subject of today’s Literary Lunchtime in the Ulster Hall with his purpose and prose celebrated by Jan Carson, Rory Nellis and John D’Arcy.

When I think of a literary event I tend to imagine people listening to someone at a podium read from a book that everyone in the room has already read.

This wasn’t that event.

Jan Carson, Outreach Officer at the Ulster Hall, expertly presented Bowie’s literary influences in a series of digestible excerpts from William S Burroughs, George Orwell, Bruce Springsteen and Walter Tevis.  She also read several pieces of prose inspired by one of the world’s most influential musicians, included a piece of fan fiction of her own about Bowie taking a day off being Bowie and a poetic collage by audience member Sophie Collins.

Rory Nellis paid tribute to the androgynous rock star with his excellent re-imaginings of Rebel Rebel, The Man Who Sold The World, Space Oddity and Starman while John D’Arcy brought a touch of performance art to proceedings with the help of some David Bowie LPs (not the same ones flogged by Del Boy I hope) and a mixing desk.

Emerging into the bright sunshine of Bedford Street after a thoroughly engaging experience it was hard to fathom I’d only been on Planet Bowie for an hour. And best of all, no one mentioned Labrynth!

The next Literary Lunchtime in the Ulster Hall takes place on May 20 and will feature an Introduction to Memoir with Patricia Craig and Tara West.



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