Nigel Planer joins a top West End line up, in a magical and nostalgic musical theatre evening celebrating the great music of songwriter Lionel Bart - Celebrating Lionel Bart, for one night only, 8pm on Sunday 7 July at JW3!

Nigel Planer was top of the pop charts in 1986, when The Young Ones recorded Bart’s Living Doll, alongside mega Bart fan Sir Cliff Richard – who had reached number 1 with the same song in 1959!

Sir Cliff Richard will be joining Celebrating Lionel Bart on screen on the night, talking about his vivid memories of working with Lionel Bart.

Sir Tommy Steele, another Bart superfan, chats away on film, telling delightful stories of his escapades with his mate Bart - from the very start of their careers to the heady lights of Broadway and beyond.

Nigel Planer says: “My favourite Lionel song is Be Back Soon, a strange choice I know, but it’s for personal reasons. As a contact dad in the 90s I regularly watched Oliver! with my son, and we’d sing this to each other on parting each weekend. It took the sting out of the situation.
“Nowadays many of Lionel’s lyrics would be considered questionable, but they are damn good songs.
“There are so many lyrics which wouldn’t get past the sensitivity reader these days, and not least of all Living Doll. “Gonna lock her up in a trunk, so no big hunk, can steal her away from me”. In our Young Ones recording with Cliff Richard, I tried to make this less dodgy by saying “I feel sorry for the elephant” – which made sure we were just being silly, and became a bit of a catch phrase.”

Appearing Live in this joyous concert Celebrating Lionel Bart is a top West End line up: Nigel Planer (The Young Ones, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory – West End), Debbie Chazen (Cable Street – Southwark, Red Riding Hood & The Bid Bag Pig – JW3), Jos Slovic (Opening Night – West End, Sam Mendes’1917), Brady Isaacs Pierce (Les Misérables – International tour, The Sandman - Southwark) and Liza Sadovy (Olivier Award Winning actress, Cabaret - West End, Oklahoma – West End). They will be singing Bart’s magical songs including: Living Doll and the Bond theme From Russia With Love; to hits from his musicals Oliver! and Blitz - and his biggest flop Twang!

Roger Cook (I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing) will also be a talking head on the night, with his stories of working with Lionel Bart on their, as yet unproduced musical, Next Year in Jerusalem and will introduce one of the songs from this show, being performed live for the first time.

Producer and co-deviser Neil Marcus says: “I was lucky enough to know Lionel in his last few years, meeting regularly for a cup of tea and a chat about musical theatre. He told me he had written a musical with Roger Cook, about Golda Meir. He gifted me some songs from that show and I am thrilled that some songs from Next Year In Jerusalem will be premiered live stage at Celebrating Lionel Bart”.

Celebrating Lionel Bart is devised and directed by Adam Lenson (Cable Street) and produced by Neil Marcus. Musical Director Theo Jamieson (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie).

Enjoy live musical theatre at its best at JW3!

JW3: 341-345 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET