Des de Moor

"To hear these songs in such a personalised context is a real ear-opener. I listened as though someone else had written them" - David Bowie
Eye modifications courtesy of PaintShop rather than my future cover designer. Photo: Theo Cohen

...they called it the streak
Photo: Jo Minton

Russell (left) and Des do the Disgrace Brothers. Photo: Theo Cohen

We don't really do show in streaky slap. Photo: Jo Minton

In performance at the Rosemary Branch. Photo: Total Blam Blam

Manic claves during Darkness and Disgrace Photo: Total Blam Blam



DARKNESS AND DISGRACE is a unique music theatre piece based around the songs of David Bowie. English chansonnier Des de Moor and Russell Churney (Julian Clary's ex-pianist) have teamed up to present this intimate and emotionally dynamic musical excursion interpreting the work of one of the world's most enduring and fascinating performers.

This is no Stars in their Eyes tribute show, but a contemporary musical and theatrical appreciation of one of Britain's major international icons. De Moor and Churney trace Bowie's oeuvre from its roots in the soul-soaked, creatively explosive London of the 1960s and onwards through a landscape peopled by mod Newley-wannabes, sexually ambivalent science fiction apocalypse prophets, Brel-fixated trash theatre queens, drug-stupefied cold war romantics, pre-millennial art murderers and wild-eyed aliens from Bromley.

Fresh stripped-down arrangements find new insights into some of Bowie's greatest songs, while a collage of spoken-word pieces from novels, poems, films and interviews sets them in an unusual and illuminating context.

The show is co-devised and directed by one of Britain's leading chanson and cabaret specialists, the inimitable Barb Jungr. The result is a personal and moving piece that rediscovers Bowie's fabulous talent. It has drawn praise from audiences and critics alike, from fanatical Bowie devotees who appreciate its new spin on familiar songs to those hearing these great songs for the first time. And we've been delighted to receive positive words even from David Bowie himself.

DARKNESS AND DISGRACE originated at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in London, followed by a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. A new version ran at Pentameters Theatre, London, in 2003, followed by a recording of the songs. The show is now being revived for touring dates in 2005.

"A must see...stunning new versions of Bowie songs" - Xfm Radio
"Ingenious...tantalising...immensely rewarding...a rare and intelligent peek behind the celebrity mask." - The Times
"Very rewarding...brings fresh life to the songs" - EdinburghGuide.com
"An unforgettable series of images...steeped in musicality and lyricisim" - Ham&High
"The whole impact is startling...Churney is brilliant" - Camden New Journal
"Intelligent and moving...providing new insights at every turn"
What's On In London
"Brings Bowie's poetry to life in such a compelling, intimate and illuminating way" -
"An endless stream of compelling vignettes" - The Stage
"Inspired...a very clever and entertaining piece" - Bowienet
"A fascinating and moving show...See it!" - Bowie Wonderworld

Click here for full reviews.

The songs
Not in performance order

Single 1966
The London Boys

from David Bowie 1967
Please Mr Gravedigger

from The Man Who Sold the World 1970
All the Madmen
The Man Who Sold the World

from Hunky Dory 1971
The Bewlay Brothers
Life on Mars?

from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars 1972
Lady Stardust

from Aladdin Sane 1973

from Diamond Dogs 1974
Future Legend/Bewitched
Diamond Dogs
We Are The Dead

from Station to Station 1976
Station to Station

from Low 1977
Always Crashing in the Same Car
Be My Wife

from "Heroes" 1977
"Heroes"/Helden (3), including a section of Kopf bis Fuss (2)

from Lodger 1979
Look Back in Anger

from Scary Monsters 1980
It's No Game

from The Buddha of Suburbia 1994
The Buddha of Suburbia

from 1. Outside 1995
I Have Not Been to Oxford Town

Words by David Bowie
Music by David Bowie except
(1) Richard Rodgers (1902-79)
(2) Friedrich Hollaender (1896-1976)
(3) David Bowie and Brian Eno (b 1948)

The following songs were included in previous versions of the show:
Saviour Machine (from The Man Who Sold the World)
The Width of a Circle (from The Man Who Sold the World)
Sons of the Silent Age (from "Heroes")
Scream Like a Baby (from Scary Monsters)

Production credits
Words and music
David Bowie

Devised by
Russell Churney
Des de Moor
Barb Jungr

Additional music
Brian Eno
Friedrich Hollaender
Richard Rodgers

Spoken texts
WH Auden
David Bowie
Bertolt Brecht
Russell Churney
Des de Moor
Ian Harris
Robert Heinlein
Paul Mayersberg
George Orwell

Voice, acoustic guitar, percussion
Des de Moor

Piano, acoustic guitar, voice
Russell Churney

Musical director
Russell Churney

Lighting designer
Chris George

Production photographs
Theo Cohen
Jo Minton

Barb Jungr

Special thanks to David Bowie, Mike Leigh, Adam Longworth; Wendy Leston at the Retro Bar; Philip Bray at Nitro; Ian Harris; Mark at Bowienet; Cecilia Darker and Cleo Sylvestre at the Rosemary Branch; Amy Lamé; The People Show Studios

Original version
Produced by Des de Moor for Pirate Jenny's Entertainments at the Rosemary Branch Theatre, London N1
Lighting design by Chris Umney
Lighting operated by Finnuala McNulty

Edinburgh version
Produced by Mike Leigh for Big Fat Cigar Productions at the Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh.
Lighting design by Chris Umney
Lighting operated by Pleasance Dome technicians

Pentameters version
Produced by Mike Leigh for Leigh and Longworth Productions at Pentameters Theatre, London NW3
Lighting design by Chris George
Lighting operated by Lester Richards

Russell Churney, who co-created this show, sadly died in early 2007 and no future performances are scheduled. Read a tribute to Russell.

A recording of the show was released in November 2003. For details, click here.

 Also on this page
A list of the songs in the show, and full production credits.

 On other pages
Don't just take our word for it -- check the reviews here, along with other press cuttings related to the show, plus a page of audience reaction.
Find out about my other musical cabaret shows and 'in concert' appearances on the gig list.

Barb Jungr, the show's director, is a superb cabaret and chanson interpreter in her own right: www.barbjungr.co.uk.
David Bowie himself has a comprehensive website, complete with a range of internet services, at www.davidbowie.com.
Or search for David Bowie recordings on Amazon.
The Rosemary Branch is the excellent little pub theatre in Hoxton, London, where the show was first created: www.