Billy Connolly play unveiled as he celebrates eightieth

Plans to stage a brand new play concerning the lifetime of Billy Connolly have been unveiled because the legendary Scottish comic celebrates his eightieth birthday.

The National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) will tour Dear Billy in theatres and group centres throughout Scotland subsequent 12 months.

NTS director Jackie Wylie mentioned it was a “love letter” and an expression of what he means to Scotland.

A seat will probably be saved for Billy at each present in case he needs to drop by.

The play options tales from most of the people about The Big Yin.

Creator Gary McNair plans to gather much more tales concerning the Glaswegian funnyman whereas on the street to make each present completely different.

The present will go to Kilmarnock, Edinburgh, Ayr, Dundee, Banchory, East Kilbride, Hawick, Dumfries, Caithness, Strathpeffer, Nairn, St Andrews, Cumbernauld, Dunoon, and Perth.

It will finish with a run on the King’s Theatre in Glasgow.

Mr McNair mentioned: “It’s a present about Billy Connolly, however it’s concerning the folks of Scotland as a lot as anything,” he mentioned.

“The present is made up of everybody’s Billy story.

“Because each time you communicate to somebody about Billy Connolly, right away they discuss concerning the time they met him, or they went to see him, or what he means to them.

Sir Billy Connolly

Image supply, PA Media

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“They wish to share it, and we have been fortunate sufficient to gather all these tales and put them collectively into this present that culminates to find out who Billy is.

“We suppose we all know, however we discover out who he’s by the prism of us.”

Dear Billy options on the brand new programme of NTS exhibits for 2023.

NTS director Jackie Wylie mentioned: “He is among the most liked figures within the historical past and modern lifetime of Scotland.

“We’re going to go away a seat for him at each present, in order that he is aware of he can come and study what he really means to the folks of Scotland.”

Mr McNair informed BBC Scotland he got here to Billy Connolly’s comedy fairly late, however all the time knew who he was.

“It wasn’t till 10 or 15 years in the past I sat down and actually clicked with him for the primary time,” he mentioned.

“It was that wee human hyperlink and from there you realise he is the funniest man who ever lived.

“He comes at every little thing by that humanity and that is why I feel I’ve grown to like him a lot.”

Mr McNair mentioned a number of the tales folks have shared have been “transferring and highly effective”.

“He opens a sure area in folks and we’re so fortunate to have entry to all these tales,” the performer added.

Billy Connolly

Image supply, Robert Pereira Hind/BBC Scotland

Born in Glasgow in 1942, Sir Billy’s profession as a comic, actor and musician has spanned greater than 5 many years.

“Someone reaching a milestone like such an age provides a reflective air,” mentioned Mr McNair.

“He’s been a part of our tradition and our life for therefore lengthy.

“So completely happy birthday Billy, I hope you might have a very good one. I hope you are tucking into your bread loaf with a candle in it now.”

The Scottish icon was identified with Parkinson’s illness in 2013 and retired from dwell performances 5 years later.

He has continued to make television programmes, however mentioned his medical challenges have made it is increasingly difficult.

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