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Karaoke & Cold Lazarus

Dennis Potter
Date Published
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‘Karaoke and Cold Lazarus are as fitting a summation as they are a testament both to my character and to my career as I should ever want.’ Dennis Potter

In the first part, Karaoke, Daniel Feeld, a writer, is in a physical crisis: he is dying. He more than half-imagines that something he has recently written has escaped into the world outside. Or is he imagining it? Fact and fiction collide. In this extremity, he has to struggle back towards the relationships and understandings he thought he had managed to do without. In the meantime, the screenplay he’s written is being arranged by the director who is blinded by his lust for the leading lady – who has her own secret life and a desire for revenge on the sadistic karaoke club owner who glassed her mother’s face.The second part, Cold Lazarus, is set 400 years in the future, where Feeld’s cryogenically preserved head is used for historical and social research purposes until an American media tycoon realizes the astronomical ratings potential of a TV show where the ‘real’ twentieth century history of Daniel Feeld’s life, via his chemically induced memories, can be fed to millions of viewers. Whilst Daniel’s ‘memories’ ebb and flow and the TV moguls fight over him, a dissident organization of Luddites, R.O.N. (Reality or Nothing), seeks to return to what they believe to have been a gentler age – the twentieth century.


Dennis Potter was born in 1935 in Gloucestershire. After National Service he won a place at New College, Oxford where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He became one of Britain’s most accomplished and acclaimed dramatists. His plays for television include Blue Remembered Hills (1979), Brimstone and Treacle (commissioned in 1975 but banned until 1987), the series Pennies from Heaven…

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