Billy

Date 2nd November 2012
Society Three Towns Theatre Company
Venue Brooke Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Samantha Grace
Musical Director Martyn Clements
Choreographer Katy Leman

Report

Author: Gordon Harris

‘Billy’ opened in the West end at the Theatre Royal Drury lane in 1974 and I was one of the lucky ones to see it with Michael Crawford and later with Roy Castle. The show ran for nearly 3 years and it has always been one of my all time favorites. This performance made stars of many people. Michael Crawford was a star already, but it introduced Gay Soper, Elaine Page, Marti Webb, Diana Quick, Avis Bunage was fabulous as the Mother and Bryan Pringle as Dad. John Barry famous for many Bond songs wrote the music and Don Black was the lyrist also known for Sunset Boulavard and many more. This is such a huge musical for any society to produce and Samantha Grace had a hard task on such a small stage but it worked for her and her cast. The cast, a young Tommy Vance-Drew in the title role, (a tour de force of a part) with John Bishop(Geoffrey Fisher), Maggie Fuller(Alice Fisher),Carol Pemble (Gran) Jason Baker(Arthur)David Clark(Duxbury)Graham Cooke (Mr. Shadrack), Melanie Poynter(Liz ), Kirsty Holyer(Barbara), and Debbie Davis(Rita). All worked well, but what happened to accents? Barbara not enough oranges, with dialoge mentioning them so much it should have been directed to make us feel you wreaked of them! Tommy worked hard with the role of Billy but I felt a little young for this role and was a little out of his depth. I have seen this young man in many parts for 3 towns and he was so brave to attempt this one. The song “Billy" sang by, Liz, and Barbara, and with Rita in “Any minute now” were executed very well. Dad, Mum, and Gran bounced off each other but comedy lines were a tad slow at times. I did like “And” a very wordy song and John held them together in this number. Costumns I thought were a miss mash. There were some problems with the sounds system early in the performance. A great sounding orchestra, but some musical numbers were difficult to hear due to the volume from the pit. Samantha you and your cast along with Martin Clements Musical Director and Katy Leman as Choregrapher took this massive show and gave it your best.. Thanks for inviting me and it was nice to see you all again.