The Garrick bringing timeless drama to The ACE Centre

Jonathan Pye, who is the leading actor of Billy Liar, to be presented by The Garrick at The ACE Centre, Nelson, this month. Credit: Colin Antill Photography. (s)
Jonathan Pye, who is the leading actor of Billy Liar, to be presented by The Garrick at The ACE Centre, Nelson, this month. Credit: Colin Antill Photography. (s)
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The Garrick is presenting a timeless drama about a youth who escapes into fantasy this month.

Billy Liar is the stage adaptation of the 1959 novel of the same name by Keith Waterhouse.

Alan Hargreaves, director, said: “My suggestion last year to include this play in this season’s programme was accepted immediately by the Garrick committee.

“Although set in 1960, the tale still stands the test of time, and will ring a few bells with the ‘older’ members of the audience.

“Rather than overt knock-about comedy, the show relies on situations and dialogue for humour and pathos.”

Co-authored by Keith and Willis Hall, it follows idle teenager and chronic liar Billy, who weaves a new world for himself out of his daydreams in hopes of escaping his dreary domestic life and dull job as an undertaker’s clerk.

But trouble brews when he finds himself involved with three different girlfriends.

And soon reality and fantasy become hopelessly entangled.

Taking on the lead role of Billy is Jonathan Pye.

It’s a part which is close to the heart of director Alan, who depicted the protagonist 52 years ago for The Lucas Players.

“At 23-years-old, being asked to play the part that Albert Finney (who died on February 7th this year) had made his own in the stage version a few years earlier, I felt flattered and a little bit over-awed.”

Wednesday to Saturday, March 20th to 23rd at 7-30pm nightly at The ACE Centre, Nelson.

Tickets: £12 (standard), £11 (senior citizens), and £8 (juniors); call 01282 661234, between 10am to 4pm, from Monday to Friday. Season tickets: Martin Chadwick, 0778 554939.