Bowie’s Denials, Stage-Show Movement?

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter


A new stage show based on David Bowie’s 1976 cult film, The Man Who Fell to Earth, may or may not progress to production —depending on which British news source one references. On May 17, The Sun reported that Danish choreographer Peter Schaufuss has obtained the licensing rights to Bowie’s music for use in his Denmark play he’s currently preparing to open in September. This announcement came as a particular surprise to fans of the Thin White Duke, since Bowie has rejected all previous offers to adapt his music into a stage show.

A new stage show based on David Bowie’s 1976 cult film, The Man Who Fell to Earth, may or may not progress to production —depending on which British news source one references. On May 17, The Sun reported that Danish choreographer Peter Schaufuss has obtained the licensing rights to Bowie’s music for use in his Denmark play he’s currently preparing to open in September. This announcement came as a particular surprise to fans of the Thin White Duke, since Bowie has rejected all previous offers to adapt his music into a stage show.


In response to The Sun’s article,
Bowie (through a post on his website) denied any knowledge of the production, saying, “Absolute toss…I have no idea who Peter Schaufuss is either.” In a BBC article three days later, Bowie, through his record company RZO, again denied licensing any rights to his music to Schaufuss. The label’s company statement, additionally, promised legal action when it pledged that, “We will seek injunctions, if necessary” in order to stop Schaufuss from using Bowie’s music, or advertising his image, in conjunction with the production.Bowie’s denials of such an arrangement and the threat of legal recourse from the Bowie camp, Schaufuss continues to claim he has followed the proper procedures to gain licensing rights to create a Bowie-themed stage show. In keeping with the sci-fi-themed movie, Schaufuss plans to feature many classic Bowie hits, including “Let’s Dance,” “Space Oddity,” “Life on Mars” and “Starman,” in his stage production. 

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