The Life I Lead, Wyndham's Theatre - ★★★★ - Until September 21, 2019


David Tomlinson is best remembered for playing Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins. He made a career of playing upper-class twits and the perfect English gentleman. His own life was vastly more complex and touched by tragedy, but he appears to have handled it with an amazing equanimity and good humour. This show gives an insight into the dark realities he had to endure – an unsympathetic father with a secret life, the death of his first wife, and an autistic child. The way he is presented in this piece he manages these challenges with the stereotypically British stiff upper lip and self-deprecating humour. Indeed, Tomlinson comes across as not so different from his alter ego. He is depicted with more self awareness and more humanity, but one feels we still don't see any of the agony that he must have actually sufferedHis life events are presented in the form he has assimilated them and we're invited to laugh sometimes wistfully as we learn about his life. Miles Jupp is quite remarkable in his ability to take on Tomlinson's character, as well as playing Tomlinson's father, Walt Disney and several others. His unbounded energy in doing the sketches and his droll delivery of the anecdotes make this a thoroughly enjoyable evening. This is a one-man show that is a masterclass in the art of performance!

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until September 21, 2019
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Tue & Sat: 2:30 pm
Wyndham's Theatre
Nearest tube: Leicester Square
https://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/tickets/the-life-i-lead/

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