Well, if you want to be transported back to the 60’s, this is a great place to be.... Billy Liar tells the story of William Fisher, a 19 year old working class lad with a big imagination.... One that lands him in even bigger trouble... William is bored and spends most of his time in a fantasy world that neither his family nor friends understand. He currently has 3 girls on the go, 2 fiancés Barbara and Rita, and his one true love, Liz...
The set was superb making good use of limited space with a full 13 step staircase to boot. Floral mismatch wallpaper on every wall and a fabulous idea of using door frames to mark the place of a door, rather than restricting eye lines of certain spots in the audience with an actual door. Clever!
Lighting and sound worked well, even if there was a ‘ding dong’ before the bell was pushed... Loved it, made the audience giggle as most of us recalled this happening to us at some stage or another. The director, Sean Duxbury certainly knew what he was doing when he chose his cast, especially his leading man Billy, played superbly by Robert Walsh. Never did he miss a beat, always on cue and had the audience in the palm of his hands – you wanted to believe his stories, however bizarre... Robert, of course was not alone and his charming although a little confused grandma Florence Boothroyd, was portrayed extremely well by Cathy Hurley. You couldn’t take her eyes off her. Geoffrey Fisher, Billy’s dad, a man who wouldn’t take any ‘bloody’ rubbish from anyone was very well played by David Reid and all were ably supported by Sean Roberts as best mate Arthur Crabtree, Jess Taylor as mum Alice Fisher and Olivia Chandler as Rita. For me the two young girls who played Barbara (fiancé one) Charli Bradbury and Liz (love of Billy’s life) Becky Chamberlain, deserve special mention... Charli portrayed the prim and proper, “I’m waiting till I’m married” timid Barbara so well, she was excellent and her timing superb. And although I believed in all of his relationships (be it family or other), I believed in Billy and Liz the most – this was down to the amazing chemistry the two actors had whilst on stage together for an alto brief a scene.. Having not seen the play or the film before, the only thing that I wasn’t sure on, was the musical interludes – are they written in or was it director’s choice.. For me, not sure they were pivotal to the plot and therefore surplus to requirements – entertaining though.
Highs and lows during a very entertaining production – would thoroughly recommend but be quick as the sign said ‘limited’ seats left. Well done to all involved at CADOS and enjoy the rest of your week.
Reviewer: Hazel Bumby
Reviewed: 22nd February 2016