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David Bowie retired his most dramatic alter ego Ziggy Stardust with a final gig at Hammersmith Odeon on 3rd July 1973.

The next night he held Ziggy’s last supper at the Café Royal with a star studded guest list including Paul and Linda McCartney, Keith Moon, Lulu, Tony Curtis, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, The Goodies, Cat Stevens, Ringo Starr and Mick Jagger. Geoffrey Marsh, curator of the recent blockbuster David Bowie exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, evokes the spirit and splendour of that final night.

But why did Bowie need to kill Ziggy? And how was Bowie different than his monstrous magnificent creation? Geoffrey will describe the star’s early years in Soho and how this most unique and chameleon like of characters emerged out of the culture of the district around the Cafe Royal.

Geoffrey Marsh, Director of Theatre and Performance at the V&A, was the man behind the blockbuster exhibition David Bowie last year. The show pre-sold a total of 47,000 tickets, a record for the museum and featured more than 300 objects from Bowie’s 50 years as a musician.

Tickets £20 including a glass of prosecco. Please click here to buy.

In 1863, a French wine merchant called Daniel Nicholas Thévenon and his wife arrived in England in a bid to escape the clutches of creditors in Paris. So began a story that grew out of bankruptcy and culminated in the creation of Regent Street’s Café Royal: a truly remarkable and original establishment with what was considered at one point to have the greatest wine cellar in the world and was reputed for its excellent hospitality, dining and entertainment.
Frequented by writers and artists such as Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, the conversations, inspirations and discussions at ‘The Café’ were profound. Arthur Conan Doyle, H G Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling, W B Yeats, Walter Sickert and James McNeill Whistler were all patrons. Distinguished figures such as Winston Churchill, Augustus John, D H Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Noël Coward, Jacob Epstein and Graham Greene were also often seen.