Billy Bishop Goes to War

4
Tue, 6th Nov 18
Production seen at the Jermyn Street Theatre.

To my shame, especially having been in the RAF, I did not know the story of Billy Bishop. the First World War canadian air ace credited with 72 aircraft kills and a VC. This play tells his story, and I am mighty glad to have caught it. 

Some biographical plays can be a bit dull, trying to shoehorn a while life into a couple of hours can lead to confused and rushed presentation. This is not the problem here. The story is told with humour and songs but without sugarcoating Billy's somewhat dubious character or the awfulness of the Great War. We are genuinely drawn in to Billy's life and to the characters that helped shape it - there are some brilliantly constructed, and performed, vignettes of the upper classes at the time. The position of the "colonials" in society is particularly pointed

Charles Aitken andd Oliver Beamish, the young and old Billy, work seamlessly together to present the life of this curiously flawed hero. The set, lighting and sound all also deserve and honourable mention as they go a long way to help create the atmosphere - one becomes fully engaged with these utterly credible characters.

Beautiful, and informative, theatre ... 

 


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