Betty Blue Eyes, Cameron Mackintosh’s newest musical, just started previews in London last week. Now you’ll get a chance to hear the music from one of London’s newest musicals.
Here is a brief synopsis from their website:
Belts are being tightened and the country’s long-suffering citizens are being told by the government that there will be fair shares for all in return for surviving Austerity Britain. Meanwhile local officials feather their own nests by taking far more than their own fair share. It is of course 1947, and having won the war Britain seems to have lost the peace, and the country is staggering under the burden of acute rationing, unemployment and the coldest winter for decades. The only bright spark on the horizon is the impending marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
Twenty six years ago Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray wove this story into a hilariously funny but sharply observed comic film called A Private Function, which centered around Betty, an adorable pig, who is being illegally reared to ensure the local dignitaries can celebrate the Royal Wedding with a lavish banquet while the local population make do with Spam.
Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman have brilliantly adapted and expanded this story for the stage and George Stiles and Anthony Drewe have written a deliciously infectious, toe-tapping, retro contemporary score. The result is an utterly British musical, full of eccentric characters, such as the strange odd couple, Gilbert – an evangelistic chiropodist, and Joyce – a nobody determined to be somebody; Inspector Wormold – an obsessive destroyer of illegal meat; Mother Dear -’She’s seventy four and ravenous’; along with a weird assortment of bullies, spivs and snobs and of course, our star, Betty the pig.
With a simply marvellous cast of great British actors headed by Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith, Betty Blue Eyes is like no musical you will have ever seen -but she is worth saving up for!
Here’s a few reviews: (2 different opinions)
Betty Blue Eyes – Thoughts On The First Preview – 19th March 2011 – “So yes, it’s decent, and in a very good shape for a first preview of a brand new musical – but nothing made me want to rush to buy tickets for another performance in the future. Agreeable, but average. And with the 3 person standing ovation that I saw from where I was sitting (row F of the stalls), I think the rest of the audience may have agreed with me.”
Betty Blue Eyes Review – “Betty Blue Eyes is a show that, in my opinion, is just going to get better and better as previews progress. I highly recommend checking out this brilliant new musical. I’m already thinking about revisiting it myself!”
Promo cast recording track listings:
1. “Betty Blue Eyes”
2. “Magic Fingers”
4. “Painting By Heart”
5. “Dance At the Primrose Ballroom”
6. “The Kind of Man I Am”
7. “Another Little Victory”
8. “Goodbye Austerity Britain”
9. “Betty Swings Demo” – BONUS TRACK
Here’s what people are saying on Twitter:
@AtTheMusicals: “Loved Betty Blue Eyes! Haven’t laughed like that at the theatre for a while!”
@SusanM2010: “Thoroughly enjoyed Betty Blue Eyes. Lovely to see such a thoroughly British new musical. And you have to love Alan Bennett anyway.”
@GrahamLappin: “Betty Blue Eyes is just brilliant – so please go. Nuff said.”
@Clairetrillwood: “Styles and Drew are a great duo but having just heard the title track im still not convinced by Betty Blue Eyes”