Just in time for the King’s Coronation, hang out the bunting to celebrate the 1st London revival of royal-themed musical comedy Betty Blue Eyes.
It is 1947, war has ended but Britain’s citizens are suffering under the burden of food rationing, high unemployment and the coldest winter for decades.
The only bright spark on the horizon is the impending marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Enter Betty, an adorable pig who is being illegally reared to ensure local dignitaries of a small community in Yorkshire can celebrate the Royal Wedding with a lavish banquet whilst the local population make do with Spam.
Betty Blue Eyes is an utterly British musical, full of eccentric characters, such as odd couple Gilbert Chilvers – a humble chiropodist, and his wife Joyce, a nobody determined to be somebody; Inspector Wormold – an obsessive destroyer of illegal meat; Mother Dear – “She’s 74 and ravenous”; along with a weird assortment of bullies, spivs and snobs, and of course, Betty the pig.
It has a deliciously infectious, toe-tapping, retro contemporary score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, with a book by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, adapted and expanded from Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray’s hilariously funny and sharply observed comic film ‘A Private Function’.
Betty Blue Eyes, directed by Sasha Regan, is the first in-house production at the Union Theatre since Covid.
Stiles & Drewe said: “‘Betty’ was one of the most enjoyable shows of our 40-year career, both to write, develop and to have produced. We are thrilled that she’ll be able to bat her blue eyes once more at the Union Theatre, as our new King takes to the throne, the city will once again be buzzing with street parties and very Private Functions. Not seen in London since her run at the Novello Theatre in 2011, three cheers and welcome back, ‘Betty’!”
Betty Blue Eyes is at Union Theatre 29 March – 22nd April 2023.