Billy Fisher lives with his parents in a quiet suburb in the town of Stradhoughton in the north of England. Life for him is somewhat humdrum and ordinary, so to escape he fantasisies about being the head of an imaginary country called Ambrosia. In between his work at Shadrack and Duxbury's, funeral directors, he manages to see three different girlfreinds, all the while living out his daydreams.
But Billy has to make some important decisions about his life and the direction it will follow. He has high hopes of becoming a script writer for a comedian called Danny Boon. He wants to go to london to make his fortune, but domestic crises and fate conspire against him. Can he pull himself away from his humdrum life and make it to London?
- Peformance Times
- Thu 11 May 7.30pm
- Fri 12 May 7.30pm
- Sat 13 May 7.30pm
Front of House
Hucknall Dispatch - May 2006
'Billy Liar' Stays True
The laid-back personality of Billy Fisher, the main character in this classic comedy, is amply depicted even before he appears on stage. After the scene is set with the nostagic 'Housewive's Choice' theme tune, Billy fails to 'surface' for breakfast until mid-morning, even though it is a day when he is supposed to go to work..
The whole play hinges on how well Billy is portrayed and 18 year old Michael Davies did not disappoint.
He made Billy's day-dreaming approach to life and his breathtaking irresponsibility totally believable. Symbolic of his cavalier attitude are 200-plus of his firm's calendars, stuffed into the living room cabinet, when they should have been posted long before.
A crisis is just around the corner for this north of England Walter Mitty, who needs to recover an engagement ring from his current girlfriend, Barbara, because it belongs to an 'ex', Rita, who is demanding it back.
Mark Swinson impressed as Bily's no-nonsense, plain-speaking Dad Geoffrey, as did Linda Mayes in the role of the hero's mum, Alice, who is more prepared to make allowances for him.
Mel Harrison rose admirably to the challenge of playing an octagenarian, Billy's grumpy Grandma, Florence, and Viv Savage was also convincing as the strait-laced Barbara, who has a craving for tinned oranges.
Solid support came from Dan Sadler as Billy's pal Arthur, sporting a trilby at a jaunty angle, and Kim Storer in the role of Liz, a kindred spirit of Billy, who's suggestion that they move to London forces him to make a potentially life-changing decision.
But it was Rachael Williams who made the biggest impact with a knockabout performance as the sassy and feisty Rita , who's confrontation with Barbara brings act two to an uprorious end. Co-directors Jonathan Kenworthy and Jess Wall ensured that a cracking pace was maintained, with just a few hestitant moments.
Use of the auditorium as an extension of the stage helped towards a sense of audience participation.