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Who you gonna call?

BILLY used to be indecisive, but now he’s not so sure! There’s a lovely new woman in his life and he’s starting to be more assertive – all thanks to the mobile answering service 118 118.

This romantic homespun tale, written for the Clatford Amateur Dramatic Society by its own playwright Sharon Colpman, had audiences on three successive nights reaching for their hankies one moment and laughing the next.

Graham Oxtoby played the lead part of Billy in Who You Gonna Call? convincing all of his desperate insecurity and lack of confidence with the belittling voice of his domineering dad, Peter Bray, always ringing in his ears.

Thankfully he has a great bunch of mates Graham, Carl, Big Tom and Mark – played by Bob Houghton, Peter Smith, David Benwell and Mike Goddard. With them he can enjoy the odd pint at the local, a pub quiz and a few bags of chips, served up by bucksome Brenda, Marilyn Hillier.

Life gets complicated when Billy finds out about the services of 118 118 and asks them to help him sort out his problems with finding a girl and facing up to his dad. He doesn’t know that the two 118 operators – Sharon Colpman and Nick Bull – have different views on every subject, particularly after sexy leather-clad 500 –Marlene Saunders – from a rival phone company, sets one against the other. Their conflicting advice leads him into some amusing situations at a speed dating event and ‘stitch and bitch’ club.

None of the women who try their luck at speed dating are really Billy’s type. He immediately offends the slappy lady, Kim Mawby, by asking her age and over-sexed Margery, Anne Blake, is enough to terrify the most confident of suitors. Fuzzy brained cat woman Millie, Sally Struthers, is his only choice and she easily falls for Graham’s joke that playing the fruit machine for 10 minutes will count as one of her five a day!

The good 118’s suggestion of joining a knitting group is more successful as he meets the browbeaten Mandy, Janet Smith, on the way in. A housebound housewife, she has been struggling for years to meet the outlandish demands of her brutish husband Roger, Dave Painter.