THE RECRUITING OFFICER
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BILLY'S LAST STAND
Written by Barry Hines
Directed by Michael Wearing
Ian McKellen in the role of Darkly
Theatre Upstairs: Royal Court, London
30 June 1970
Comments and Reviews
"HOME COAL" is the fuel supply on which many of the residents of South Yorkshire pit villages rely. The price is low and the local colliery lorry drivers deliver by the ton with scant ceremony direct to your door or pavement. Somebody has to move it to the cellar or shed.
First noticed in a production at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, "Billy's Last Stand" by Barry Hines comes to the Theatre Royal Upstairs at the Royal Court and triumphs. There seems no other word for this engrossingly simple and affecting study of good and evil in terms of coal-shoveling in Yorkshire. The acting is first-rate. Ian McKellen plays the predatory partner with his characteristic jumpy sense of danger and John Barrett is wonderfully solid and self-satisfied at the start as an innocent faced by capitalism."
"A superb Yorkshire pudding. . . I found it the riveting miniature of human conflict."
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