The story of downtrodden billy the cripple, orphaned at a young age and seeking the opportunity to escape the small town when a Hollywood scouting team arrives. It is a comedy and the occasional burst of violence and cruelty but nonetheless has a good heart firmly within it. After a slow first half which turns out to be a series of scene setting, the play comes to life in the second half. The constant plot twists excites and yet the whole play is handled by Michael Grandage in a controlled and subdued manner that amplifies their dramatic impact. The twists turns from cheer to gloom then offers a silver lining when it gets really gloomy. Daniel Radcliffe is perfectly competent as cripple Billy and surprises with his singing voice. Ingrid Craigie and Gillian Hanna as BIlly’s aunts are a great comic double act and played with balance and sincerity. The clever set design by Christopher Oram utilising the revolving stage also worth a mention.


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