UK tour of Lionel Bart’s Life Story to mark 25th anniversary of his passing

It’s a Fine Life! poster

My Little Eye production company has today unveiled plans for a nationwide tour of It’s a Fine Life!, a theatrical celebration of the life and legacy of the iconic songwriter Lionel Bart.

This poignant production coincides with the 25th anniversary of Bart’s passing and will star the acclaimed West End actor John Barr, known for his roles in Les Misérables, Evita and Sweeney Todd.

Scheduled to run from 3 April to 20 September 2024, It’s a Fine Life! will journey through theatres across the United Kingdom, bringing the extraordinary story of Lionel Bart to audiences nationwide.

Bart, renowned for his vast contribution to the world of musical theatre, including the global phenomenon OLIVER!, has left an indelible mark on the arts with his chart-topping hits, unforgettable musicals, and film scores.

Despite his fame and fortune in the 1960s, Bart’s life was one of dramatic contrasts. At the height of his career, he earned more in a minute than the average person did in a week, celebrated as a West End sensation and a pop music hitmaker. However, his story took a tragic turn when he was declared bankrupt in 1972. It’s a Fine Life! promises to delve into the highs and lows of Bart’s life, from his meteoric rise to his devastating fall.

The show is penned by Simon Hanning, who founded My Little Eye, a production company committed to revolutionising theatre. Hanning’s script is based on extensive research and interviews with those close to Bart, weaving together both well-known and lesser-told stories from the songwriter’s life.

The musical will feature a selection of Bart’s most famous works, including songs from Oliver!, Blitz, Maggie May, and Fings Ain’t What They Used to Be, alongside his chart-topping pop hits such as Living Doll, From Russia with Love, and Little White Bull.

The tour of It’s a Fine Life! will start at The Radlett Centre, Radlett (14 April 2024), followed by The Queens Theatre, Hornchurch (29 April – 5 May), New Mills Arts Theatre, High Peak (25 May), Hawth Theatre, Crawley (16 June), Buxton Opera House, Buxton (8 September), and ends at Kenton Theatre, Henley on (20 September 2024).

Simon Hanning, Director of My Little Eye said: “Twenty-five years after the death of one of the greatest British songwriters, It’s a Fine Life! unveils a portrait of the man behind so many timeless classics. I’m delighted that My Little Eye can pay tribute to Lionel Bart in this anniversary year, and I look forward to working once more alongside the brilliant John Barr as he lights up theatres across the UK in the role of Bart.”

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


Follow us