Billy Liar

Robert WrightTheatre Royal, Bury St EdmundsRobert Wright

Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds

What a intriguing, witty and thought-provoking comedy this turns out to be. Set in the early 60s, the drab sitting room with the patterned wallpaper, the rounded TV screen and brown teapot on the table certainly captured that era.

The characters are powerful in their own right, ranging from the chuntering yet endearing Granny Florence (Sally Sanders) to the daydreaming and serial liar Billy (Nathan Hannan). Adding more than a bit of spice to his life are the three girls he decided to get engaged to at the same time. The plain and straightforward chain-orange eating Barbara (Julia Mallam) was the homemaker, whereas the loud and common Rita (Janey Lawson) was the complete opposite. Bang in the middle was Liz (Lucy Evans) who was probably the answer to his woes. Billy's long-suffering parents were often at their wits' end and this was vividly portrayed by Helen Fisher as his Mum and James Morley as his Dad.

The show is in three parts, which allows for the different phases of the story to sink in. By Act Three the mood changes as the reality of Billy's behaviour comes home to roost. Not quite the ending you might have hoped for, but it did leave you asking why Billy was so in a world of his own.

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