“The father of the modern British musical” – it’s a London story

Guide and subject come together perfectly in this one. Adam is a performer, a musician. Adam was the theatre reviewer for the Independent newspaper. Adam knows this scene, has read everything to be read. And of course as an award-winning guide, Adam knows these streets better, far better, than “mere mortals.” And the subject of course – as per the title of the Virtual Tour from which this clip is taken – is Lionel Bart, “the father of the modern British musical”, as Andrew Lloyd Webber calls him. Lionel Bart and his London – because this is also (as per the title again) A London Story.

As always, Adam tells the tale inimitably, warmly, humanely, brilliantly. “I’m going to look at the Icarus fall tonight but I want to look at the flight as well, I want to look at the journey up because, well, the view must have been spectacular.”

As for the detail, well, as always with London Walks’ most gifted storyteller, it’s perfect note after perfect note, right from that wonderful early and moving touch: “he changed his name on the top deck of a red London bus as it went by Bart’s Hospital – it doesn’t get more London than that.”

Anyway, this clip is just one course from the 10-course feast, Lionel Bart’s London– The Virtual Tour.  And as always, no harm in reminding you that the narration –what goes in your ear – is only half the story. In the VT the words are of course accompanied by another feast, a feast of images, ranging from old theatre programmes to portraits to theatre stills to short videos, etc.


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