Lionel Bart was one of major songwriters in the twentieth century. He wrote the words and music to songs that have proved timeless across the genres of rock n roll, pop and musical theatre.
His early songs with Tommy Steele (‘The British Elvis Presley’) introduced Rock and Roll to the UK Charts. Titles such as ‘Rock With The Cavemen’, ‘Little White Bull’ and ‘Handful Of Songs’ have proved timeless.
Bart’s position as the King Of Denmark Street was further solidified in penning ‘Living Doll’ for Cliff Richard. Hit followed hit with songs such as ‘Do You Mind?’ for Anthony Newley and the first Bond Song, ‘From Russia With Love’ which proved a career best for Matt Monroe.
Not satisfied with conquering the charts, Bart went on to triumph in the theatrical arena. Known as the father of the modern British musical he was the first composer ever to have three hit shows running in the West End at one time. Musicals such as ‘Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’be’, ‘Blitz’, ‘Maggie May’ were all hits but none compared to the international unstoppable smash of ‘Oliver!’ Perhaps the greatest British musical ever written.
Bart’s life of wild lavish parties along with penning some of the famous songs of the 20th Century made it a rollercoaster of rags to riches to rags again as he sold most of the rights to his work in bad business deals. This ended up leaving him penniless and his life spiraled out of control.
Lional Bart – Reviewing The Situation – will see Radio 2’s Leo Green take to the stage to talk about the stories behind the songs, and celebrate this extraordinary life. Guest artists including actress Jessie Wallace, Tony Award winning actress Frances Ruffelle and double Olivier award winning actress Samantha Spiro will take to the stage to pay tribute to one of our greatest songwriters. Further artists and contributors will be announced in due course.
Jessie Wallace, best known for her roll as Kat Moon in EastEnders said “”It is an absolute honour to be part of this celebration of Lionel Bart’s music. I am very excited!”
Lionel Bart – Reviewing The Situation – will be a rare opportunity to step behind the curtain and go backstage into the life of a man who dealt with the extremes of having nothing and everything at various times of his life. However, despite the ups and downs there remained a constant truth throughout; a genius gift for words and music.Go Back