If ever a musical was designed to appeal to Londonist readers, it must be this: The A-Z of Mrs P, bringing the story of Phyllis Pearsall, who is said to have walked all 23,000 streets in London and mapped them for the first London A-Z, to life on stage.
In 1936, Phyllis Pearsall left her husband in Venice and came to find her way in London. Then she received a telegram from her father, map publisher Alexander Gross.
And here begins the story of how an eccentric Bohemian artist put down her paints and picked up the drawing board to follow in her beloved and impossible father’s footsteps to map an entire city. Follow their different journeys as they intersect and diverge through the thoroughfares and alleyways of London, scaling new heights, seizing opportunities, to build an iconic business midst the tangled labyrinths of a troubled family saga.
The show comes to Southwark Playhouse in February but the production team are currently crowdfunding to make a cast studio recording of all the music. Which is how we got to listen to this song, Lovely London Town, sung by Isy Suttie who takes the lead role, in one of Mrs P’s own hats, no less.
Did you find The London A to Z Street Map Historical Edition in your stocking this Christmas? It’s a facsimile reproduction of one of Phyllis Pearsall’s first publications featuring the now renowned A to Z logo on the front cover. We got one and it’s really rather good. You can get yours for £9.95 from A-Z.com.
The A-Z of Mrs P opens at Southwark Playhouse on 21 February 2014 at 8pm and runs till 29 March. Tickets £22, £18 concessions, £12 preview performances.