Coming Up for the Third Time

by Sandra Billington

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Sandra Billington, the Author

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Coming Up for the Third Time is a lively theatre memoir, which also contains a vivid account of post-war social history, including women’s lives in the 1960s before feminism had arrived, and the bizarre events sparked off by the author’s tangled love life. It is written in the third person.

 

 

The tale of Sandra Billington’s turbulent life begins as a child, escaping from a repressed 1950s suburban family by performing in BBC radio dramas: then as a young woman discovering the reality of a 1960s theatre career in a profession surrounded by predatory men.

She turns this around through a RADA scholarship, where she studies with Linda Thorson, Angela Scoular, and Peter Sproule. And during these years comes the beginning of an extraordinary love affair. Her life looks to be completely fulfilled, beyond her imaginings both professionally and personally, when death and other disasters intervene. She is abruptly wrenched off her path into tangled, uncharted forest, where, to earn a living, she has no choice but to hack her way through. Health becomes a problem but she succeeds as an academic and her published books result in her being made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Before leaving London to study at Cambridge University, she works with Mike Leigh in his first film: the much-acclaimed Bleak Moments, with Anne Raitt and Mike Bradwell. She also works at the Royal Court with Jane Howell and Nicholas Wright. At Cambridge her acting life flourishes, with lead roles, working with Richard Cottrell, Griff Rhys Jones, Stephen Pimlott, Nicholas Hytner, Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod, and Yevgeni Yevtushenko. But, try as she might, the return to a professional theatre career remains blocked.

 

 

 

 

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“Fascinating, outrageous, nostalgic, lovely and deeply moving.” Mike Leigh

The Author.
Coming Up for the Third Time