Coming Up for the Third Time

by Sandra Billington

The Author.
An Excerpt.
To Order.




Surviving reviews and comments on her performances in Cambridge

Playing Claire Zachanassian in Dürrenmatt’s The Visit at the ADC, directed by Stephen Pimlott, Cambridge, November 1972

“Sandra Billington, as Claire, is a very fine actress; she commanded the stage with a devastating authority; she was ageless and ominous, her voice beautifully modulated, her passion beautifully controlled.” Michael Arditti, in The Cambridge Evening News.  

As Cressida, in Troilus and Cressida, March 1973

“It’s a really smashing performance, dearest Sandra, lots of luck tonight and have a great success. Love and all thanks…” Card from Richard Cottrell (director).

Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, July 1973

“Thanks…for…creating such a delightful and magnetic Titania.” Note from Sue Limb (director)





After reading the translations at a poetry reading with Yevgeni Yevtushenko, October 1975, he inscribed a book of his poetry:

“…with love, with inexpressible gratitude for your sister’s [sisterly] help to me on the Cambridge stage.”



While working on the Duchess, in John Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, October 1973, she was given advice by George (Dadie) Rylands. He wrote to her, after a rehearsal where she was performing with one leg in plaster:

“I was extremely pleased with your proposal scene and the Ancona scene; you brought off all the points and feelings that we had in mind…. I was delighted that your speaking was so clear even when muted, and so sensitive…. I am hypercritical where that play is concerned.”

The plaster came off on the day of the dress rehearsal and Patrick Miles wrote, during the run: “I have just come from watching you in Duchess of Malfi. I should just like to say how moved I was by your fine, passionate performance. I felt at times I was watching Elektra.”

Masha in Three Sisters, March 1974

“Sandra Billington…had the stage presence and a wonderful serenity and poise.” John Kelleher, The Cambridge Evening News






Cambridge Arts Theatre: Celebrating Sixty Years (1996), edited by Rupert Christiansen and Henrietta Bredin

“In 1974…Michael Arditii took part in the first lunchtime production in the [Cambridge Arts] theatre’s history and one of the very few plays by an undergraduate ever to be staged there. It was written by Sandra Billington – ‘the finest student actress of her generation’, and it was called Builders, a mystical, intense play about love and guilt.” Page 78.




Two of her short plays, Builders and Duet, won the University’s Quiller-Couch Prize for original composition in 1975, and, in 1977, Sandra won the University’s Winchester Reading Prize.