“The Life I Lead” or The Life and Times of David Tomlinson


If you are born between the end of the 50s and the 80s, for sure David Tomlinson meant something for you. May he be the funny villain of “The Love Bug”, the improbable magician Emelius Brown in “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” or, in his most iconic role, the absent Mister Banks of “Mary Poppins”, David Tomlinson rose from being one of the many actors performing in stage plays and forgettable comedies to a family favourite and a posthumous induction as a Disney Legend in 2002.

Actor Miles Jupp comes to Wyndham Theatre for one week only (this one, so get your tickets asap!) for a West End run of his successful one man show who pays a lovely tribute to a man whose life has been quite extraordinary and complicated. Miles, impersonating Tomlinson, recalls the terrible relationship with his father Clarence, an insensitive solicitor who hated to be called “Dad”, never had a word of love for his son and kept hidden from his knowledge the existence of another family (with seven children!) he had in Chiswick so you can imagine how may have been for Tomlinson to tie his career to another father with a bad human connection with his children…  There is also room for his two weddings, the first one with Mary, an American woman, widowed in WWII, who suffered from depression and tragically committed suicide jumping from a building with her two sons, and the second with Audrey, who gave him four children (one of them, Will, was one of the first children diagnosed with autism in UK).

You cry a bit and you laugh a lot with “The Life I Lead”, a bittersweet experience which will bring back a lot of lost childhood memories and it is the occasion to remember a lovely and funny man who, after a dramatic rollercoasting life, always felt in the love of his family and the children he entertained, a deserved compensation for his troubled life.


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