Singer-songwriter playwright and comic actor Ty Jeffries is the man behind the towering blonde ex Vegas piano playing nightclub singer persona Miss Hope Springs. Ty is the son of much loved British character actor and film director, the late Lionel Jeffries, star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and screen writer/director the Railway Children. He was born near Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire and spent some of his formative years living in Hollywood while his father was making movies such as ‘Camelot’ with Vanessa Redgrave and ‘Notorious Landlady’ with Kim Novak and Fred Astaire. Ty danced down Sunset Boulevard one night with Mr. Astaire after dinner at The Brown Derby, was sung to by Maurice Chevalier, went swimming with Franco Nero in the pool at the Chateaux Marmont Hotel in Beverley Hills where, on Sundays, he and his family would attend church with Rosalind Russell.
Ty remembers, “I went from earthworms and cricket bats to earthquakes and fruit bats in the blink of an eye. We lived in the house Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn used to use as their love nest. We would see Miss Hepburn swimming early in the mornings as it was in our lease that she was still allowed to do so”.
Returning to the UK, Ty was educated at The Purcell School of Music and went on to gain a BA in performing arts at Middlesex University, but he started playing the piano and writing songs instinctively on an old piano left by friends in the family garden shed at the age of 5 and went on to be taught his first jazz chords by family friend the actor Sir John Mills. His obvious innate musical talent was encouraged by amongst others silver screen composer Elmer Bernstein (Magnificent 7 / To Kill a Mockingbird), Shirley MacLaine and Diana Dors for who were family friends and for whom he would often do a few numbers after a dinner party.
At the age of just 14 Ty was offered his first publishing deal by songwriter/publishing duo Bill Martin and Phil Coulter (of ‘Puppet on a String’/‘Congratulations’ fame) who heard his catchy songs and signed him on the spot. Ty was later signed as songwriter to Elton John’s publishing company Rocket Music, had some chart success working with artists as diverse as Neneh Cherry, BIlly MacKenzie and The Associates, Chaka Khan and Vangelis.
Although there was a stint as a highly successful fashion model (Ty was the first top male model with a shaven head) when he prowled the catwalks of New York, Paris and Milan for fashion houses such as Commes Des Garcons and Jean Paul Gaultier in the early 90s, Ty began his professional career playing the piano and singing nightly at Langan’s Brasserie in Mayfair, The Roof Gardens in Kensington and The Ritz, Piccadilly which is where he learned his trade. Having always been influenced by the greats, he seamlessly introduced his own musical numbers into his repertoire of Gershwin, Porter and Berlin, but it was not until many years later that Ty gave birth to his ‘hugely successful’ (TimeOut) towering blonde ex-vegas showgirl alter-ego Miss Hope Springs for whom he writes, directs and M.D.s. “I couldnt get Streisand, Minnelli or Midler to sing them…so I had to create my own diva of a certain age to do it” he reveals candidly. “ So I guess am following in my father’s footsteps…just in kitten heels”.
In 2010 Ty was awarded Best Stage Production by Sosogay.com for his debut show Miss Hope Springs ‘Recovering Showgirl’, in 2011 he won Best Cabaret Brighton Fringe for his show ‘Miss Hope Springs…Je m’appelle Hope’ and in 2012 he was invited by Jeremy King and Chris Corbin OBEs to be resident songstress every Sunday evening in their newly opened Le Crazy Coqs in London’s West End. After almost 2 years of packed houses and rave reviews, Miss Hope Springs spread her sequinned wings and made a mini tour of the provinces, and before returning to her show business home Crazy Coqs later that year Miss Hope Springs swang her way to the world famous Edinburgh Festival garnering 5 star praise. During his 6 month residency at London’s famous Hippodrome Casino (once the Talk of the Town where Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra trod the boards) Ty was nominated and shortlisted in the top 3 for Best Musical Variety Act 2015 in the London Cabaret Awards. Miss Hope Springs is currently headlining a brand new variety show at The Rah Rah Room on Piccadilly for world famous Madam Jojo’s team Electric Carousal.
And looking to the future? “I have my eye on Paris and Berlin for some shows and I’m hoping for a bit of a tour of the USA in 2016. But currently London is certainly the place to be as far as Cabaret goes. It’s big business here and becoming more and more interesting with so much talent around. I feel so blessed to be on the crest of a very exciting wave. I’m hugely influenced by the old school artists of Hollywoods Golden Age, artists such as Peggy lee and Julie London inspire me hugely. The fabulous Leslie Caron came to see my show the other night (star of amongst other movies An American in Paris with Gene Kelly). What a wonderful rounding of the ‘O’ that was, to meet such a true Hollywood legend and get to perform for her in 2015 was a real joy’
Hope’s unique blend of all original finger snapping pop, smouldering bossa-novas and wistful waltzes along with hysterical tales of her Ritz to the pits life and disastrous love life make Hope London’s biggest cabaret sensation and a one of a kind ‘move you to tears laugh out loud’ artist.
Miss Hope Springs/Ty Jeffries
‘Queen of Cabaret’ Boyz London
‘Tragi-comic genius’ Julian Clary
‘Fabulously talented….Unmissable!’ Jonathan Ross
“Hysterical…a bevvy of witty original songs’ The Times
(Critics Choice Top Pick & Top 5 Shows to See at The Edinburgh Fringe)
Broadway Baby ✮✮✮✮✮
Evening Standard ✮✮✮✮
Time Out ✮✮✮✮✮
Crazy Coqs Sherwood Street, Piccadilly 22nd November (this show now Sold Out) 20th Dec 27th Dec 31st Dec.
Royal Vauxhall Tavern 26th November
Komedia Brighton Tuesday 8th Dec.
Miss Hope Springs returns to Crazy Coqs one Sunday a month from January 10th
see website for details.
<iframe width=”700″ height=”400″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Lrx-FwiHC3g” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>