What happens when a young man from the wrong side of the tracks dreams of rock ’n’ roll stardom? Will he get his big break and top the charts? Can he woo the girl of his dreams? Will he ever be good enough to win over her class-conscious parents?
Set in 1959 England at the dawn of rock ‘n’ roll, BILLY BUCKETT is described as a musical with drama, pathos, and a delightfully daffy British sense of humour, against the colourful backdrop of the era of Teddy-Boys & Judies. Add in brilliant original music performed by a hot live band and a talented cast of actors, singers and dancers, and you know you’re in for a great night of musical theatre.
Nineteen-year-old mechanic Billy Buckett oozes musical talent, rock ‘n’ roll charisma and an apparently couldn’t-care-less cool. Orphaned during the Blitz, the wanna-be pop idol yearns to swap his overalls for fame & fortune, but his soul is crying out for the love & acceptance he has been denied all his life (‘Mind over Matters Blues’).
While he chases success, Billy needs to make a living so moves to Wickford, a small sleepy town in Essex, to apply for a job as an auto-mechanic (‘Wot’s Work’).
It is here that Billy meets the vivacious & beautiful Janette Burns who has just graduated from a posh girls’ boarding school. Jan empathises with Billy and captures his heart (‘Tender Is The Night’) but true love finds opposition in Jan’s father & Billy’s boss, the powerful businessman Arthur Burns (‘Self-Made Man’).
Burns and his well-bred wife Helen want the very best for their middle-class daughter – and marriage to some go-nowhere ‘grease monkey’ is not part of their plan.
Aided and abetted by the hilarious garage-foreman Big Ted (‘A Girl Is Like A Car’) and Jan’s best friend, the rebellious Maureen (‘Feather On The Wind’), the young lovers carry on a clandestine love affair.
But when the secret slips, the consequences are devastating. Jan and Billy enter separate worlds of heartbreak and confusion (‘What’ll I Do’).
Billy fights back the only way he knows how – through rock ’n’ roll (‘Wreck Out Of My Heart’). But can he find the happiness he craves? Not if Arthur Burns can help it.
The music rides a 50’s pop-pendulum from toe-tapping, hand-clapping, get-to-your-feet-and-dance numbers like ‘Dynamo’, ‘Daddy’ & ‘Who Were You With’, to the stunningly romantic ‘Tender Is The Night’, the soulful ‘Feather On The Wind’, and the reflective epiphany of ‘Photographs and Memories’.
“A must-see show for anyone who wants to step back in time to the musical excitement of the late ‘50s and early 1960s – the music, the fashion, the high energy of the rock ‘n’ roll generation! This colourful show has it all by the Buckett-load!”