#BrumHour was invited to see The Life I Lead by Birmingham Rep
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
The Life I Lead at Birmingham Rep
Written by James Kettle and Directed by Didi Hopkins and Selina Cadell
Miles Jupp has arrived in Birmingham for a three-night run of The Life I Lead – a new comedy at Birmingham Rep until 13th March.
Telling the story of the life of Mary Poppins actor David Tomlinson, this production jumps to moments in David’s life. From working with Walt Disney to his life during the Second World War to lesser known moments of his life which are equally serious.
This is a warm and affectionate one-man show is packed with stories told as anecdotes of David Tomlinson’s life.
The set is a single white and blue vinyl with squares on the ground and clouds on the wall and flanked by two stage curtains, There’s a Ronnie Corbett style single comfy looking chair, perfect for reminiscing, an a-frame ladder with a black telephone, privacy screens for changing behind and a circular french restaurant style chair. Peppered around the set I spotted at least four bowler hats. There’s old fashioned lights at the front of the stage and in the very centre is a single framed door with a silhouette of David Tomlinson cut out of the centre.
Other than hearing Miles Jupp on Radio 4’s the news quiz I’ve not seen him acting previously so it was a great chance to see him on stage and emulate this English gentleman’s life.
I’m the sort of person who smiles when I hear intelligent humour rather than laughing and there was a lot for me to smile about.
It is a little challenging to relate to David Tomlinson who on the surface appears to have been more concerned with his son’s homes having lounges rather than drawing rooms and how he found California too warm and sunny.
But exploring more serious elements of David Tomlinson’s life made me really see what perhaps had made him indulge and focus on such trivial issues. Miles Jupp touches on these moments with a great deal of respect and truthfulness.
Most of the tickets have sold out for the remaining two productions but it is easy to see why this might be a great draw for people.
The Life I Lead is at Birmingham Rep until 13th March. Book tickets here: birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/the-life-i-lead.html