Following success this year as part of Hayes Theatre Co’s Cabaret season, Reviewing the Situation is set to return to the venue in 2016. Cabaret artist Phil Scott has teamed up with director Terence O’Connell to create this production, celebrating the life of Lionel Bart. The composer/lyricist wrote the long running musical Oliver! and other hit shows, pop songs for the likes of Cliff Richard, and theme songs for movies including the James Bond film From Russia With Love. After performing at Hayes Theatre Co in June, Reviewing the Situation is set to return for five performances only from February 4th 2016.
Lionel Bart was an East End Cockney from a poor Jewish family. At the height of his success, he owned a huge home in Chelsea (the “Fun Palace”) where he held fabulous parties. Success didn’t last. Alcohol, changing times and a tendency to waste his money saw him declared bankrupt. His Robin Hood musical Twang! was a notorious flop. To settle debts he sold the rights to Oliver! and watched helplessly as others made fortunes from it.
Lionel ended up living in poverty, in a cramped flat above a laundrette, which is where Reviewing the Situation takes place. But like many who lived through the Blitz (the subject of one of his hit shows), Lionel kept smiling. Cameron Mackintosh called him “the least bitter man I have ever met”. In the closet for most of his life, Lionel came out in the 1990s. His friends included Judy Garland, Noel Coward, Keith Moon and Barry Humphries –– who Lionel cast as the undertaker in the very first production of Oliver! He died in 1999.
– Official Press Release
Reviewing the Situation is set to be held at Hayes Theatre Co (19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point) from February 4th to 7th 2016. Shows will take place at 8PM Thursday – Saturday, with additional sessions at 2PM on Saturday and 6:30PM on Sunday.