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Betty Blue Eyes
04 April 2011 ~ 22:21On Saturday Mum & I went to see the new musical 'Betty Blue Eyes' in London's West End. The show is based on the film 'A Private Function' by Alan Bennett, which neither of us had seen. I think that was a good thing as the story was new to us.
The film and musical are set in northern England in 1947, a time of austerity with food rationing still in force due to the country's poverty following WWII. Yet the people are optimistic (afterall, the Allies did win the war), good times are around the corner and Princess Elizabeth (now The Queen) was about to get married, and to celebrate the Royal Wedding a group of town bigwigs decide to illegally raise a pig to provide meat for a party. The pig in question is Betty Blue Eyes.
This new production has been heavily advertised (not all completely new shows do well and some close quite quickly). Free CDs of some songs from the show were given away with a newspaper, so Mum & I had already heard some of the numbers.
I have to say that we were very impressed with Betty Blue Eyes. The stars were excellent (one of them is a very well known actress from TV here in the UK), the music was catchy and well sung, the animatronic pig herself was extremely realistic and cute, moving her head and blinking (an usher told us she was made in Australia and cost they thousands each - they had spares in case they malfunctioned), and best of all the story was interesting.
I do hope the show is a success. It's just previewing at the moment (our tickets were a bargain £10 each - about $15), but it starts its proper run on 13th April.
Some British-set shows have very done well in New York, such as Billy Elliot, and it would be great if Betty Blue Eyes even transfers to Broadway eventually.