Jim Stebbings

Location: Dereham, Norfolk
About me...

I am retired after working in a business and commercial environment around the world. I have had a life-long interest in the theatre, especially the musical theatre and have appeared myself in various forms of musical theatre, which I continue to do today. In my earlier retirement I managed musical performers. I now think of myself as a musical historian, with a particular interest in the music, lives and times of the great composers and songwriters that make up what is commonly called The Great American Songbook and in the great musicals of the mid-twentieth century.

About my Talks...

My talks are made with Powerpoint presentations using my laptop, projector, screen and ancillary equipment.  This is important because my talks are illustrated with pictures, music and video clips. Ideally these talks require an hour to one hour and a quarter, but they can be shortened to 45 minutes as necessary. I am aiming to develop a range of talks based around the common theme of The Great American Songbook and the great musicals. Currently I can present the talks listed below, so please scroll down…………..


£50 within 15 miles of Dereham, Mid-Norfolk, about 14 miles west of Norwich.  I am happy to travel into adjoining counties though travel costs are required for distances over 15 miles.

My Contact Details:

01362 693277

07786 256032

The Magnificent Seven.

Public Speaker in Norfolk Jim Stebbings presents his talk  The Magnificent Seven.

As well as contributing thousands of popular songs that remain ‘standards’ and which comprise much of what if often referred to as The Great American Songbook, the stories behind the lives of our seven American songwriters also reveal extraordinary, fascinating and even shocking facts from their personal lives.  Which songwriter survived almost certain death my oversleeping?  Who survived by earning money as a boxer and even fought a future world champion before eventually finding fame with one of the greatest musicals ever written?   Who married and raised a family before choosing to live with other men – yet retained the loyalty of his wife?  Which household name which we associate with some of the sweetest music ever written was an unpleasant and sour man?  Whose life was touched with sadness and tragedy on more than one occasion and yet remained optimistic and became part of American folklore?  Who married eight times but never found true contentment? These and other fascinating stories will be revealed in this presentation which is illustrated with extracts of music and film from their most famous works.

The Centenarian of Song.

Public Speaker in Norfolk, Jim Stebbings presents his talk "Irving Berlin"

From his poverty stricken entry to the USA as young Jewish immigrant named Israel Baline, to his phenomenal song-writing success as Irving Berlin in a life that spanned 101 years, we discover the steps that took Berlin to fame and fortune and made him an American legend.  We learn about the tragedy that touched his life and why his work, music and reputation endure today in the American way of life.  Which song of Berlin’s remains the biggest world-seller of all time?  Why is his name associated with the tragedy of America’s 9/11?  Which American President became a part of Berlin’s performing life before entering US politics?  These and other fascinating facts are revealed in my presentation which is illustrated with rare photographs, film and music.

The Topsy-Turvey World of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Public Speaker in Norfolk,  Jim Stebbings presents his talk Their World, Their Lives - Gilbert & Sullivan

Performed still throughout the world, the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas have been part of the fabric of British life for over a century.  Beyond the success of the operas themselves however the lives of these two extraordinary men reveal some extraordinary stories from this Victorian era involving sex, drugs, jealousy, greed and tragedy. In a presentation illustrated with rare images, musical extracts and film we learn about this unique partnership and the enduring legacy of their work and times that remains today.

Jim Stebbings Contact Details:

01362 693277

07786 256032