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The Tailor-Made Man | Stage Door Theatre

Billy Haines is an up-and-coming movie star with big dreams. But in Hollywood, big dreams are much too often synonymous with dangers. Dangers of being caught up in a life filled with surreal decadence, and losing yourself in the process. Behind the reckless party-boy facade, Billy has a secret. A scandalous secret that could, in a second, put his career and freedom in jeopardy. His love for interior designer Jimmie could be the envy of the town if it wasn’t against the law. PR man Howard Strickling (Peter Rae) and MGM boss Louis B Mayor (Dereck Walker) are determined to keep this secret out of the paper, and in so doing, shape Billy into their very own tailor-made man.

Hugo Pilcher, making his theatre debut with the character of Billy Haines, manages to subtly portray the nuances of the troubled life faced by the young actor, his performance is splendidly tragic. Playing opposite him as Jimmie is Gwithian Evans, who brings to life the brave and sensitive character with such tenderness, their chemistry is unmatched. Shelley Rivers delivers yet another incredible performance as the optimistic Marion Davies, a talented MGM actress. Her character’s charms and sunny disposition are enough to bring smiles and laughs to an otherwise outraged and indignant audience.

The stage (David Shields) is laid out in three separate sections, taking up the diagonal of the room. On one side, a large mahogany desk, likening the office décor of a 19th Century big boss – the dark tones and emptiness commanding the room at once. On the other side is another desk, this time in a lighter shade of brown, almost as if it were trying to bridge the divide between management and employee. In the centre of the room lies a velvet ottoman, mainly used as the base of Billy and Jimmie’s home.

The actors are constantly in motion, effortlessly grabbing the attention of the audience from

start to finish. This brilliant staging coupled with the commanding voices of every actor on stage and a heartbreaking story, makes for an incredible show. The Tailor-Made Man runs at Stage Door Theatre until 31st July - for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4*)

Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Peter Davies


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