Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Event #28: Newley: The Singer and His Songs

One of the first movie musicals I remember is Doctor Dolittle, which featured Anthony Newley's songs (with music by Leslie Bricusse) Talk to the Animals, and My Friend the Doctor (sung by Newley as character Matthew Mugg, mugging to the audience?). Follow that up (for me) many years later with the music for Willy Wonka ( The Candy Man, Pure Imagination ) , or for that matter his lyrics for Goldfinger, or the song Feeling Good, covered by Nina Simone amongst many.

This show was neither a tribute, nor a bio-musical, but a curious musical reflection on the impact of Newley on performer David Boyle's own life. This is the stated intention of this one hour show, but it sometimes falls flat with too much emphasis on Newley's skill as a mime, and pauses for meaningful(?) reflection. Except for all the lovingly evoked renditions of Newley's songs, one could almost come away thinking the show was about another mime/actor/composer ... Charlie Chaplin.

Here's an excerpt from the show:

or try Newley himself (with Bob Downe!)

Man tries to escape from coat-hanger; dog confused.

Robert Henryson: Blessed be simple life

Blessed be simple life, withouten dreid;
Blessed be sober feast in quiete;
Who has enough, of no more has he need,
Though it be little into quantity.
Great abundance, and blind prosperity,
Ofttimes make an evil conclusion;
The sweetest life, therefore, in this country,
Is of sickerness*, with small possession.


Adam Read.

Dinner at Hector's gastro pub

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