Sheffield theatre group stages Billy musical

Billy (Joseph Walker), Michael Fogg and Shadrack (Steve Pashley) in Billy at The Montgomery
Billy (Joseph Walker), Michael Fogg and Shadrack (Steve Pashley) in Billy at The Montgomery

The famous story of a bored young lad whose daydreams take him away from his dull life and into a fantasy world is on stage in Sheffield next week.

Handsworth and Hallam Theatre Company take us to a fictional Yorkshire town and introduce us to Billy Fisher, a young industrial Yorkshire lad, a million dreams from London.

It’s 1960 and Britain is about to come out of a long tunnel into the swinging sixties.

Juggling three women, a job at an undertakers and a tense home life, Billy reverts to childlike fantasy and dares to imagine another kind of life in London.

The show Billy was a three-year smash hit on the London stage at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1974, which launched the stage career of Michael Crawford.

The musical is based on the play Billy Liar, written by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, and was also a famous 1963 film starring Tom Courtenay. The star sent his best wishes for the Handsworth and Hallam production.

The story also became a sitcom in the 1970s, starring Jeff Rawle.

Taking the leading role of Billy Fisher in this production is Joseph Walker, who wasted no time in getting straight into his research for the character, spending the morning at Michael Fogg’s Funeral Directors in Woodhouse Road to get a feel for the job.

It seems that Joe was just as suited to the job in real life as Billy Fisher is in the show. As you can see, he found no problems in making himself comfortable in the boss’s chair!

If you want to catch Billy, it will be performed at The Montgomery in Surrey Street Sheffield next Wednesday to Saturday. Evening performances start at 7.30pm and there is also a Saturday matinee.

For tickets, call 07586 293546, email hhtctickets@live.co.uk or go online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk