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Maureen Lipman to sing lost Lionel Bart musical

Brand new music will be heard as a part of a Jewish virtual gala.

Photo credit: Maureen Lipman (Photo by Jay Brooks)

Maureen Lipman will give a world premiere performance of an unheard Lionel Bart musicalnext month, it has been announced. The exclusive performance will be available as part of the Jewish Music Institute gala, available to watch on 11 February.

Lipman will sing a song from Next Year In Jerusalem, created by Lionel Bart and Roger Cook. Written in 1975, the musical is inspired by Golda Meir, a former Israeli statewoman and prime minister who was raised in Kyiv, Ukraine.

For the gala, Lipman will sing the musical’s title song. “Next Year In Jerusalem” is performed by Golda Meir’s mother, Blume Mabovitch, as she tries to comfort her daughter.

Speaking about the musical’s inspiration, Roger Cook said: “[Lionel Bart and I] became great friends and wanted to write a musical together about a strong woman - her story was the stuff of movies, so we decided it had to be Golda Meir.... Next Year In Jerusalem was the second song that we wrote together for the show. I came up with the melody which Lionel wanted to change; but he came round to liking it and wrote some great lyrics.

I wish Lionel was alive and kicking, as he would be crazy proud that finally after all these years this lost musical is going to be heard and have a life.”

Having written music for artists like Shirley Bassey and theme songs for James Bond films, Lionel Bart is best known for creating the book, music and lyrics for Oliver! The musical was last in London at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2009.

Best known for creating the book, music and lyrics for Oliver!, Bart was described by Andrew Lloyd Webber as "the father of the modern British musical".[1][2][3] In 1963 he won the Tony Award for Best Original Score for Oliver!, and the 1968 film version of the musical won a total of 6 Academy Awards including the Academy Award for Best Picture.[1]

Made a dame in 2020 for services to charity, entertainment and the arts, Lipman began her theatre as a part of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre company in the 1970s. In recent years, Lipman’s West End credits include The Best Man at the Playhouse Theatre and When We Are Married at the Garrick Theatre.

On 27 January, Lipman’s performance in Rose will be broadcast on Sky Arts to mark National Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Jewish Music Institute gala is available on 11 February. More information can be found here.

Photo credit: Maureen Lipman (Photo by Jay Brooks)

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