Stand-up comedian and actor, Miles Jupp, is to play the quintessentially English gentleman actor, David Tomlinson, in a UK tour of James Kettle’s biographical stage comedy, The Life I Lead, it has been announced today.
Best remembered for playing Mr Banks, in Disney’s classic film Mary Poppins, and Professor Emelius Browne, in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Tomlinson was renowned for playing the classic English gent: forthright, proper, and a lovable fool.
His meeting with Walt Disney came to encapsulate an incredible life full of adventure and heartbreak. The Life I Lead sees Miles Jupp bringing David Tomlinson’s remarkable story to life.
As a World War Two fighter pilot, his early life contained action and adventure.
But he suffered huge heartbreak with the sudden death of his first wife and his fight to have his son, Willie, recognised as one of the first British cases of autism.
The man who portrayed one of cinema’s most famous patriarchs was also defined by his relationship with his own father – a remote eccentric, who was hiding an extraordinary tragicomic secret.
The Life I Lead is a richly comic and moving tale of fathers and sons across the generations and fills in the blanks behind a very well-known face.
Miles Jupp said: “I was attracted to this firstly because of the character of Tomlinson himself- a man whose acting performances seemed effortless but concealed a great skill beneath the surface.
“And then by the story of his life, beautifully written by my frequent collaborator James Kettle, which is full of surprises.
“It is a script that contains both comedy and moments of extraordinary sadness and pain and I hope that, under the direction of Selina Cadell, one of my most favourite people in the world, I can do the play, and Tomlinson, justice.”
February 6 – 9, Exeter, Northcott Theatre February 11 – 16, Chichester, Minerva Theatre February 19 – 20, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough February 22 – 24, The Lowry, Manchester February 26, Nottingham, Playhouse February 27 – 28, Doncaster, CAST March 1 – 2, Norwich, Playhouse March 5 – 6, Oxford, Playhouse March 7 – 9, Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds March 11 – 13, Studio, Birmingham Rep March 14 – 16, Salisbury, Playhouse March 18 – 30 Park Theatre, London April 2 – 3, Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford.