Saturday, December 6, 2008

Talking About Lionel

Eddie Mair tells the story of Lionel Bart, a sensitive, talented and troubled artist through interviews with those who knew him intimately.

Lionel Bart was at one time the wunderkind of British musical theatre who reached dazzling heights of fame in the early 1960s with Britain’s most successful post-war musical – Oliver!. But, his tumultuous life went from triumph to disaster as he lost control of his fortune and his health seriously declined.

Eddie Mair takes to the streets of Whitechapel to hear the story of this impoverished son of a tailor who always maintained that without his Hebraic, left-wing, wartime upbringing there would have been no musicals. " Ollver! was a strange marriage of the Jewish music of my bar mitzvah, and the street cries of my childhood ." Lionel later observed, "Fagin’s music was a Jewish mother clucking away."

BBC Radio 4
Saturday 6 December
10.30 am

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