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.
February 5-13 2016
Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman
A Private Function by
Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray
Director and Designer
Stefani Lyons and Robert Readman
Betty design and construction
Hair and Make-Up
Katy Metheringham/Ruby Johnson
Mrs Allardyce/Mrs Lockwood
Mrs Metcalf/Mrs Tillbrook/
Mrs Lester/Girl Trio
Mr Metcalf/Mr Cunliffe
Mrs Turnbull/Girl Trio/Princess Elizabeth
Betty Puppeteer/Girl Trio/Wartime Jiver
Sergeant Noble/Reg Bowen/Mr Attlee/Housewife
Mrs Roach/Mrs Sutcliffe
Mr Sutcliffe/Policeman/ Prince Philip/Housewife