A Work of Bart
This is an odd, interesting and fun clip. It's an interview from about 1995 with Lionel Bart, the creator most famously of course of the musical Oliver!, but also several other British shows, none which did remotely as well, though some had success, like Blitz!, Maggie May and Lock Up Your Daughters (for which he wrote only the lyrics.) It's one of the longest interviews of Bart that I've found, running almost 10 minutes. And it's a bit of a ramshackle affair.
The host is Gerry Anderson, and at times he comes across like a giddy fan boy (who at one point goes on at such length that he not only is clearly embarrassing his guest, but even he recognizes he's gone too far and makes note of it). But then, with just a quick turn, he'll ask a pointed, hard question, as when, out of the blue, he brings up Lionel Bart's well-documented problems with drugs and alcohol and going bankrupt. So, it's quite a hodge-podge.
And in the middle of it all, he asks about Bart's favorite song from Oliver! -- and after giving an explanation of a couple he has great affection for, launches into a hesitant but lovely rendition of "Who Will Buy?"
This all came about, I suppose, because Oliver! was then in the news, with the first major revival in years, starring Jonathan Pryce, who'd just starred in the original production of Les Miserabales.
I also love the interview for one very brief moment, when an obscure reference to The Music Man is made, and Bart picks up on it. But mainly, as odd as the interviewer, is not only nice to see such a long interview with Lionel Bart, but to see him seemingly at peace and charming, after such a long turbulent and destructive period of his life.
There's an additional bonus to it all. The following guest is the singer Donovan, who it turns out was actually quite a good friend with Lionel Bart, so they have some nice, personal exchanges.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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