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Pick Me Up: Betty Blue Eyes


Friargate Theatre, York

"Witty, rude, lovable, warm, dramatic, hilarious", "popular entertainment at its very best" – Stiles and Drewe's musical version of the Alan Bennett film A Private Function received rave reviews when it opened in London's West End in 2011.


It's 1947 – post-war Britain is in the grip of recession and rationing – and the bigwigs of Ilkley are secretly fattening up a pig for a private function to celebrate the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.  Mild-mannered chiropodist Gilbert and his social-climbing wife Joyce are not invited, but when Gilbert stumbles across the pig – Betty Blue Eyes – Joyce hits on the idea of stealing it as revenge.


Betty Blue Eyes is based on the 1984 Handmade Films comedy starring Michael Palin and Maggie Smith. American screenwriters Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman loved it and proposed turning it into a musical. When they approached Stephen Schwartz, the creator of Wicked, he told them the project was perfect for English musical-writing duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.


Pick Me Up staged a lavish production of Stiles and Drewe's Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure at the Grand Opera House, York, in 2013. The more intimate Friargate Theatre, just around the corner, is the perfect setting for this charming, laugh-out-loud, tune-packed show.


Toni Feetenby (the Baker's Wife in Pick Me Up's Into The Woods) plays Joyce, Adam Sowter (school teacher Mark in Our Day Out) is Gilbert, and Louise Leaf is Mother Dear, the role played by the wonderful Liz Smith in the original film directed by Malcolm Mowbray.

Toni Feetenby as Joyce, Louise Leaf as Mother Dear and Adam Sowter as Gilbert in Betty Blue Eyes
Mark Hird as Inspector Wormold and David Todd as Sergeant Noble in Pick Me Up's Betty Blue Eyes

February 5-13 2016


Music  by

George Stiles


Lyrics by

Anthony Drewe


Book by

Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman


Based on

A Private Function by

Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray


Director and Designer

Robert Readman


Musical Director

Barbara Chan



Sam Johnson



Stefani Lyons and Robert Readman



Adam Moore


Betty design and construction

Elanor Dunn


Hair and Make-Up

Emma Godivala

Cherylene Grivon

Abbie Oxley





Joyce Chilvers

Toni Feetenby


Gilbert Chilvers

Adam Sowter


Mother Dear

Louise Leaf



Katy Metheringham/Ruby Johnson


Mr Lockwood

Neil Foster


Mrs Allardyce/Mrs Lockwood

Julie Fisher


Mrs Metcalf/Mrs Tillbrook/


Susannah Baines


Mrs Lester/Girl Trio

Claire Pulpher



Mr Barraclough/Policeman

Matthew Kitchen


Mr Metcalf/Mr Cunliffe

Martyn Hunter


Mr Wormold

Mark Hird


Mrs Turnbull/Girl Trio/Princess Elizabeth

Vicki Lightfoot-Smith


Betty Puppeteer/Girl Trio/Wartime Jiver

Elanor Dunn


Mr Allardyce

Chris Speight


Dr Swaby

Craig Kirby


Sergeant Noble/Reg Bowen/Mr Attlee/Housewife

David Todd


Mrs Roach/Mrs Sutcliffe

Jeanette Hunter


Mr Nuttall/Housewife

Bill Laverick


Mr Sutcliffe/Policeman/ Prince Philip/Housewife

Jonny Holbek



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