As we all know, there are many moods of David Bowie, the absolute worst of which is Mime.
‘The Looking Glass Murders’ (or ‘Pierrot In Turquoise’) was made for Scottish television and shown on New Years Day 1970. Happy Hogmanay! Written by the dream team of Bowie and his theatrical mentor Lindsay Kemp, it tells the story of poor old Pantomime Pierrot who seeks revenge when Harlequin pinches his best girl, Columbine. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? It is.
The production takes place on a single set, with Bowie, as befits a character called ‘Cloud’, sitting on a step ladder and surveying the action, his hair back combed and puffed out, giving him the appearance of a pampered and pissed off pedigree cat umpiring at a bizarre tennis match. The rest of the cast barely achieve the dramatic standard of a junior school nativity play and Jack Birkett, playing Harlequin in an unforgivably revealing costume, is absolutely excruciating.
Two Bowie songs feature on the soundtrack, the old favourite ‘When I Live My Dream’ and the otherwise unreleased ‘The Mirror’. Over a sparse acoustic backing, Bowie makes abstract pronouncements like 'the mirror is hung up on you' and ‘fey troubadour, you're on a downer' as Birkett tiptoes around miming surprise and flashing his arse cheeks. It’s nobody’s finest moment, and STV didn’t choose to make it an annual event.
Anyway, why take my word for it when you can see the evidence with your own poor eyes? Please remember to have some Optrex to hand.