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Disney star David Tomlinson's story will be brought to life in Norwich production of The Life I Lead

Miles Jupp in The Life I Lead. Photo: Piers Foley

Miles Jupp in The Life I Lead. Photo: Piers Foley

Piers Foley

The Life I Lead, a theatre show based on a Disney star's life, is coming to the Playhouse in Norwich.

Miles Jupp in The Life I Lead. Photo: Piers FoleyMiles Jupp in The Life I Lead. Photo: Piers Foley

The show will take place on March 1 and 2 at the Playhouse, telling the comic and moving story of David Tomlinson’s life.

Tomlinson is best remembered for playing Mr Banks in Disney’s classic film Mary Poppins as well as Professor Emelius Browne in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

His meeting with Walt Disney which came to encapsulate his incredible life full of adventure and heartbreak. The Life I Lead will illustrate this as acclaimed actor and comedian Miles Jupp brings his remarkable story to life.

As a World War Two fighter pilot, Tomlinson’s early life contained action and adventure; but he suffered huge heartbreak with the tragic 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.

On the show, Miles Jupp says: “I was attracted to this first because of the character of Tomlinson himself - a man whose acting performances seemed effortless but concealed a great skill beneath the surface and not a little magic. 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.”

• Tickets to see The Life I Lead on March 1 and 2 are available from the Playhouse website for £17.50-£20 advance

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