About Bill productions announce a three-night run of About Bill at The Other Palace – The one woman show starring Kim Ismay will run from 7-9 October 2022.
Kim Ismay is well known to London Theatreland and has starred in countless West End and national tour productions including Wicked, Mamma Mia, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Saturday Night Fever, Acorn Antiques, Singing In The Rain, Lautrec, The Rocky Horror Show as well as appearing in numerous TV dramas.
Written by Matthew Strachan and Bernie Gaughan, About Bill is the story of Bill Fitzgerald, the renowned (and fictitious) jazz trumpeter who stormed his way through the twentieth century in a haze of music, controversy, and love affairs. The various women in his life are all played by the inimitable Kim Ismay, and she brings each character to life in vivid colour as they share with us their ups and downs of life with this charismatic vagabond.
About Bill is a show entirely about Bill, although we never meet him. Instead, we hear from all of the women in his life. Some loved him, others fled from him. All were affected by Bill Fitzgerald, the legendary swashbuckling jazz trumpeter.
We meet Bill’s mother, Stella, the feisty 1930s showgirl in corset and feathers who is scared of nothing, except an unexpected pregnancy. There is Joyce, Bill’s first girlfriend, who must choose between the wicked Bill and his stuffed-shirt rival. Her decision will reverberate down the years. Next, we meet Gloria, the landlady of Bill’s theatrical digs, who fruitlessly hopes of a future with him.
We meet the mini-skirted aristocrat he marries in the 1970s, who in the end, can’t take the pace, and a later we hear of his marriage to a Mexican firecracker who cleans out Bill’s bank account.
From the journalist who can’t help but be affected by his charm, to the addict lover who blames him for everything, all the women in Bill’s life show us a different aspect of this talented, complicated man as the score takes us on a musical tour of the song styles of Bill’s long life.
And all the while Aunty Dot looks on. She raised him when his mother couldn’t and loved him with the same ferocity as she despairs about his behaviour. Sternly moral, outspoken, and hilarious, she has much to say About Bill.
The show was written for Kim in 2010 to showcase her talent and versatility following her sterling work in the company’s first musical, Next Door’s Baby. Its first run was in London in 2011. Music and Lyrics were written by Matthew Strachan who sadly died aged 50 in September last year. The production is now being revived in Matthew’s memory.