My Life Story, directed by Julien Temple, is a soaring success. It is the filmed stage show of Graham “Suggs” McPherson, frontman for the iconic 80s’ Ska-Pop band, Madness.
Coming in the form of a one man show that expertly blends archival footage, animation and dramatized re-enactment, the show is an autobiographical account of Suggs’ life story structured loosely around his quest to discover more about the father he never had.
It is a personal, sprawling spoken word documentary that captures the spirit of a man and the cultural context of a specific time and place. From Soho to Camden, the show charts the rise of Madness in the pub-rock scene through first hand recollections that are pumped with the same energy, charm and charisma as the music videos of the band’s heyday.
It is an absolute delight and easy to fall head first into Suggs’ world, travelling with him through the highs and lows of his life and career. He has the storytelling ability and comedic timing of a pro, the cheek and wit of a school boy and the presence to pull it all off. It feels like a theatrical chat down the pub. The only thing better than watching this film, would be to see the show live.