Review: Betty Blue Eyes

PUBLISHED: 09:35 28 May 2014

The cast of Betty Blue Eyes

The cast of Betty Blue Eyes


Musicals can sometimes take themselves too seriously. While that was never likely to be a risk with a production based on an Alan Bennett text, the levels of whimsy in Betty Blue Eyes need to be seen to be believed.

Gilbert Chilvers (Haydn Oakley) is the new chiropodist in town and his wife Joyce (Amy Booth-Steel) can’t rest until they’ve ingratiated themselves with the local bigwigs.

In the midst of post-war rationing that means bagging an invite to ‘a private function’ to celebrate Princess Elizabeth’s marriage – and the delectation of a succulent (but unlicensed) pig.

That the pig becomes one of the main characters gives some indication of how bonkers this show is, but it is exuberantly and tastily so, yet resists the temptation to really ham it up.

The ensemble cook up a surreal world of ration books, suspicion and (possibly) hallucinogenic delight.

Tobias Beer plays Mr Wormold the meat inspector with pantomime levels of menace.

Sally Mates has great comic timing as the unfortunate foot doctor’s mother in law.

Lauren Logan does a great job of bringing the titular pig Betty to life in puppet form.

The songs are witty and clever, with choreographed nods to 1940s swing and morris dancing in the bigger set pieces; the ballroom scene is particularly impressive.

This is Bennett’s Britain set to music: absurd, a little bitchy, a tad crude, but almost emotional, catchy and enjoyable.

Now where’s the apple sauce?

Betty Blue Eyes continues at the Theatre Royal, Norwich until Saturday.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Eastern Daily Press visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Eastern Daily Press staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Eastern Daily Press account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Commented

Latest from the EDP

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 6°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the EDP
digital edition