News & Updates

One of the best things about living in the UK is the amazing choice of theatres and the exceptionally high production standards we enjoy. It’s particularly exciting to see a world premiere of new material, which is the case with a play called The Life I Lead, starring Miles Jupp.

The one-man play, at the Park Theatre in London’s Finsbury Park, gives us a behind the scene look at the well-loved actor – David Tomlinson. While being a household name, thanks to his roles in the blockbusters Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, relatively little was known about the private life of the actor.

Miles Jupp is known for his appearances in Radio 4 comedies. His performance is sparkling, funny, moving and effortless. Unusually for a play, there are several rhetorical questions asked which draws you into the drama as though this really is a one-to-one performance (which of course it is, as is the case with all good theatre). Miles’ range of voices is astonishing and he makes great use of the stage, where he appears comfortable at all times.

The brilliant set by Lee Newby is intriguing and reminiscent of Rene Magritte and you wonder if David Tomlinson is dreaming or in heaven.
The script flows, full of wit and makes amusing references to Peter Ustinov, John Gielgud and Walt Disney, the innovator and film maker. Tomlinson asks Disney why he is producing movies when he can use animation and the entrepreneur says, ‘people are cheaper’. The play cleverly explores the sensitive side of the visionary, who clearly bonded with Tomlinson and his family.

What’s astonishing is that you feel as though you are having a private audience with David Tomlinson and an insight into the character of Disney. There is a strong physical resemblance between Miles Jupp and Tomlinson but perhaps it is the comedian’s tone of voice, which has great range, that is so convincing. You feel that Jupp is enjoying every minute of the performance, yet another reason to see this wonderful drama.

The Life I Lead runs until March 30 at the Park Theatre Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP. This is an intimate venue where you can enjoy theatre at its best.​​​​​​
Author: Tina Fotherby on March 24 2019

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