"Remarkably thought provoking and sensitive"
by Jill Lawrie for remotegoat on 13/02/19

Currently touring the UK until early April is James Kettle’s new comedy “The Life I Lead” which expands on the life of David Tomlinson. This one man show starring Miles Jupp portrays the quintessential Englishman, but also lifts the lid on his quite extraordinary and at times tragic personal life.

Kettle wrote the play over a period of 2 years with Miles in mind for the role, having already noted similarities between the two men. Tomlinson had a difficult childhood with a cold, aloof father obsessed with Napoleon and in adulthood David shockingly discovered his father’s double life ~ he was hiding a second wife and children. Tomlinson was a fighter pilot in World War II and trained pilots who fought at the Battle of Arnhem, before becoming an actor, having overcome his childhood speech impediment. Walt Disney famously cast him as the irritable bank manager Mr Banks in the Oscar winning “Mary Poppins” and he went on to have many more screen appearances. He tragically lost his first wife, but remarried happily to his second wife Audrey and they went on to have 4 boys. His third son Willy sadly was severely autistic and the first child in the UK to be diagnosed as such. Tomlinson lovingly and patiently forged a close relationship with his non-verbal son and the echoes of his own father’s lack of connection are poignantly recounted.
Well-known and accomplished actor, comedian and writer Miles Jupp excels in this monologue as he skilfully weaves and explores the emotional journey, admirably capturing the spirit of this fascinating character from his childhood to retirement.

This is a remarkably moving collection of memories, an engagingly revealed snapshot through quiet reflection and amusing anecdotes.

Comes highly recommended.

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