• Thursday 28 July 2011 – 19:30
  • Friday 29 July 2011 – 19:30
  • Saturday 30 July 2011 – 14:30, 19:30


Edward Alleyn Theatre, Dulwich – get directions


Mark Farlow

Musical Director

Solfa Carlile


Running from an unsympathetic working class family , a pair of demanding fiancées and an insecure job at as a clerk at an undertakers, Billy escapes, Walter Mitty-like, into a world of fantasy where he can realize his dream ambitions. This includes becoming ‘President’ of the secret land of Ambrosia whom he has liberated, A Hollywood star in the mould of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, a gangster who guns down his boss and a teenage idol in the best Top of the Pops tradition. As work and family pressures build to new intolerable levels, and his addictive lying gets the better of him Liz enters his drab life and offers Billy the one real chance he’ll ever get to leave the past behind and start a new life in London.

Scripted by Keith Waterhouse from his own novel , Billy Liar is one of the few 1960’s comedies of the British ‘new wave’, marrying visual and verbal wit with a rather poignant rumination on the futility of dreams.

Following the novel, ‘Billy Liar’ became a play and a movie in 1962 starring Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie. Twelve years later in 1974 a musical ‘Billy’ based on the original play was performed at Theatre Royal , Drury Lane which starred Michael Crawford in the title role and Elaine Paige as ‘Rita’ one of his fiancées who is ‘tough and brassy with a firebrand temper and a colourful line in expletives!!!’

Billy is one of the best ‘forgotten ‘British musical comedies of the last few decades offering an excellent ‘eclectic’ musical score combined with the brilliance of Waterhouse’s comical script.


Billy… Tom Scambler
Alice… Caroline Smith
Geoffrey… Stephen Norton
Gran… Susan Chandler
Liz… Fleur Wylie
Barbara… Rachel Spice
Rita… Kate Trevithick
Shadrack… Stephen Arnold
Duxbury… Sam Leach
Arthur… Peter Krajewski
Stamp… Barry Pavey
Mrs Crabtree/Chorus… Sandy Holmes
Marilyn Munroe/Chorus… Hayley Fiksen
Ticket Collector/Chorus… Sebastian Fenton
MC/Chorus… Elizabeth Edwards
Narrator/Chorus… David Hadland
Chorus… Katrina Johnson
Chorus… Melanie Bedford
Chorus… Shirley Hayward
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