REVIEWING THE SITUATION
Well known cabaret artist Phil Scott teams up with director Terence O’Connell (Dream Girls, Minefields and Miniskirts) to create a show about Lionel Bart, the composer/lyricist who wrote Oliver! and other hit shows, pop songs for the likes of Cliff Richard, and theme songs for movies like the Bond film From Russia With Love.
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 an alcoholic, living in a cramped flat above a laundrette, which is where our show 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”.
Although in the closet for most of his life, Lionel came out in the 1990s (he died in 1999). 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!
Pianist/singer/writer/comedian Phil Scott is well known to cabaret audiences for his one-man shows, and has appeared many times at Chapel Off Chapel and The Butterfly Club. His shows with other performers include The Twink and The Showgirl (with Vincent Hooper), Mario (with Blake Bowden), Newley Discovered (with Hugh Sheridan) and he co-wrote Fat Swan and Little Orphan Trashley with Trevor Ashley. Phil was also Script Consultant on Priscilla, Queen of the Desert The Musical (directed by Simon Phillips).
Reviewing the Situation is part of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival program for 2015.
Venue: Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran
Date: Wednesday June 24 and Thursday June 25 at 7pm
Bookings: Melbourne Cabaret festival website