I’m sorry to interrupt. I hope you’re sitting comfortably. Let me introduce myself – my name is Will Hampton and if that rings a bell to you, it ought to. My name has been up and down this country, across the world in Europe in theatres and performance areas. My name has been in lights, on posters and on the lips of everyone I know, and I’d like to tell you the circumstances that brought me here, on this train ride, to this seat – to you. I believe in fate, you see, and the fact that you don’t seem to realise how big our meeting is, makes you the perfect person to regale with the tale of my good friend Jack – or “Jackie” to those who know him best.
You see, he’s the real reason everyone ought to know my name. The one who believed in himself so much that he could make something better of this world, of his life and of this place that he dared to leap into the sky to walk amongst the stars.
Excuse me a moment, “I should like a drink from your cart, my dear”, my apologies, but there is a long ride yet, after all. Now where were we, ah yes! Jack.
It all started in the summer of 1923…