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Miles Jupp to star in West End transfer of The Life I Lead

The Life I Lead

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING its critically acclaimed UK premiere, leading stand-up comedian, presenter and actor Miles Jupp is bringing his heart-warming show about the life of Walt Disney’s consummate English gentleman, David Tomlinson, to London’s West End.

Written by James Kettle and co-directed by Selina Cadell and Didi Hopkins, The Life I Lead will play at the Wyndham’s Theatre from September 16 to September 21, 2019.

Best remembered for playing ‘Mr Banks’ in Disney’s classic film Mary Poppins and ‘Professor Emelius Browne’ in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, British actor David Tomlinson was renowned for playing the classic English gent: forthright, proper, and a loveable fool. His meeting with Walt Disney came to encapsulate his 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, 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.

The production enjoyed a UK tour from February – April 2019, opening at Exeter Northcott and including a two week run at London’s Park Theatre.

Described by the Telegraph as “a very British tour-de-force”, Miles Jupp has appeared as a performer across a wide range of genres – from stand-up comedy and theatre to major television series and Hollywood films.

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

His extensive screen credits include the award-winning BBC2 sitcom Rev, The Thick Of It, Outnumbered and Gary: Tank Commander, as well as the popular children’s TV show Balamory, The Crown on Netflix, Howards End for the BBC, and The Durrells and Bad Move for ITV, plus appearances on Have I Got News For You, QI, Mock the Week, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Live At the Apollo and James And Jupp.

His film credits include George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, Michael Winterbottom’s The Look Of Love, Nigel Cole’s Made In Dagenham and Jon Stewart’s Rosewater.

In 2012, Jupp made his National Theatre debut in Alan Bennett’s People and in 2015 went on to perform in the theatre’s critically acclaimed production of Rules for Living alongside Stephen Mangan. He has also appeared in The Way Of The World at Northampton Royal Theatre, A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg at the Glasgow Citizens and Neville’s Island in the West End.

James Kettle is both a narrative and entertainment comedy writer, and a long-time collaborator with Miles Jupp; lead writer of BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz, and numerous episodes of In and Out of the Kitchen (BBC). His other writing credits include four series of the Rose D’Or nominated Tom Wrigglesworth’s Hang Ups, three series of Can’t Tell Nathan Caton Nothing and four series of Wordaholics. He also writes live tour material for comedians such as Joe Lycett, Jason Byrne, and Susan Calman.

Image (bottom): The Life I Lead: Miles Jupp. Photo credit: Piers Foley.

Tickets: £17.50 – £45. To book, call 08444 825 151 or visit

Times: 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Also at Wyndham’s Theatre: The Starry Messenger, starring Matthew Broderick and Elizabeth McGovern (until August 10), Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag (August 20 to September 14) and Sean Foley’s stage adaptation of the classic Ealing Studios comedy The Man in the White Suit (September 26, 2019 to January 11, 2020).