Billy Wonderful by Nick Leather
Director: Serdar Bills
Reviewer: Carl O’Toole
Derby day in Liverpool is the highlight of the football calendar, a day where all over Liverpool people desert the streets and either watching on the television or from the stadium itself. People stop you in the streets to see if you have a ticket they could buy from you, and it is from that point the show actually starts.
Sitting in the cafe waiting for the auditorium to open we are approached by several men all asking for spare tickets to the derby, they then lead into the auditorium where the seats are arranged in the round and the set is a football pitch half red and half blue a simple but ingenious set by Hannah Clark.
Billy has made the team, it’s a the game of a lifetime and he’s soaring it’s his big chance he has waited for this all his life, it’s his chance to score the winning goal in the biggest match of the year, can he do it, can he really believe this is happening, he doesn’t believe in much.
Costumes by Jacquie Davis were straightforward football kits (a blue team and a red team.) Even thou the play skims over twenty two years the kit remains the same for each era, and thou I noticed this it did not in any way detract from what was occurring in the show.
Director Serdar Bills has a hit here! Under his direction the play runs smoothly and flows from act to act without interference, with only five actors taking on all the parts working together as a true ensemble to give an extremely outstanding and thoroughly brilliant performance Neil Caple( Billy Snr), David Lyons( Billy) Rob Law (Moz), Shaun Mason(MC) and Micheal Ledwich (Shiner). Simple lighting effects by Ian Scott add to the whole atmosphere. The use of score to show Billy’s age at that particular time of the play and also the score of the Derby is a great little touch.
This is a show that really takes you on a journey and hits your emotions on all levels, if you go and see any football match in the next few weeks make sure you go to the one that’s on at the Liverpool Everyman.
Billy Wonderful runs at the Liverpool Everyman until Sat 4th April