Bowie musical bows out

Margaret O'Hanlon
Margaret O'Hanlon
The curtains have come down on a Queenstown woman's bid to take her David Bowie-inspired musical on tour after she was denied permission to use his songs.

Margaret O'Hanlon's original musical production, Rock 'n' Roll Suicide, featured 24 Bowie songs - the dialogue made entirely of Bowie lyrics.

She planned to follow October's three sold-out shows in Arrowtown by touring the musical around southern towns, but was denied permission by Universal Music Publishing Australia.

After several attempts she got hold of Universal Music, which "came down really hard on me to let me know that it was not the case, it would never be the case and I should just not bother applying again".

Ms O'Hanlon thought it was "a business decision" by the company. Universal would not want to tie up the rights and jeopardise future opportunities abroad, she said.

"Even if Mr Bowie was wild about the idea, he's hardly going to rely on a production team in Queenstown, New Zealand - he's going to want to do his own version and he's going to want to use his amazing team of people. That's really where the property rights come in.

"He can't really grant them to me if he's going to do something similar."

However, Mrs O'Hanlon is still "incredibly happy" with what she created.

"I think it was a really clever idea. I'm happy with the performances. I'm happy with the production. I'm happy with everything about it," she said.



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