Whatever Happened to Barry Chambers is a dramatized memoir.
In 1944, when only four, Barry is left at The King’s (The Cathedral) School Boarding House in Peterborough, his mother having discovered her husband is a bigamist. Beautiful but manipulative, his mother makes a new life for herself, eventually in London, becoming a successful fashion designer. She gets married again, this time to a Jewish business man – and pretends that she and her son are Jewish.
Barry is brought up as an Anglican meanwhile and has to cope with loneliness, bullying, a sexual predator at school, his ‘loveable rogue’ of a step-father and his mother’s erratic behaviour. Barry becomes confused about his identity and as he grows older is attracted to the wrong set.
Barry Kay is Professor Emeritus of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Imperial College, London. He was educated at Edinburgh, Cambridge and Harvard Universities and lives in London with his wife, Rosemary.
He says, “When, after she died, we found my mother’s writings about her early married life I felt compelled to release my pent-up emotions of childhood by telling my own story. ‘Getting it all out’ has been a welcome release although laying bare so many private (and shocking) memories has not been easy”.