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NOT QUITE BILLY (article first published : 2006-12-22)

Having just seen the show at the Kwasuka Theatre, I felt I just had to do something for the show there, Not Quite Billy. I haven't read any reviews on the show, nor have I looked into the comedian who's playing the role of Billy. All I have to say is that the guy is a fantastic performer, and whilst his accent might slip on the odd word, he is spot on and to the tee! (tea?)

There was a massive cancellation the night I went and so the show was down from an expected crowd of 45 to 8. The manager of the theatre asked if we wanted the show to go on, as the performer was willing to do the show, or refund the tickets for another night. We opted as a group for the show to go on, and as a group decided to move to the front rows (we being such a big group this wasn't an issue).

He came out, made some impromptu jokes on the sheer number of us, and our thunderous applause (he only got 14 clapping hands, as one gentleman was missing his arm) and proceeded with the show.

As a Billy Connolly fan, I was expecting a lot of rehashed work from the master. Instead we got more original works than repeat performances, and the parts that he did use from Billy's shows, he performed excellently. We were in stitches. This show is great, and he needs support. It's so refreshing hearing jokes and tales that are universal, and yet local, that rip off Royalty (because lets face it, the theatre going crowd are mostly English and know who the hell Princess Anne is) as well as local government.

He put on his show without reservation, and worked us for all our worth. And although it is stiflingly hot in that oven of a theatre it was well worth it. Although as the four older members of our audience commented at interval he did use the F word too much (hello, that's Billy's signature!) and that he was a bit crude. Is there any other way to talk about masturbation?

In short it was a show that I found to be refreshingly light, performance in top form, and finally someone not taking themselves too seriously. Guy Sclanders




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