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Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES

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Everybody's been talking about the animatronic pig which cost a reported £100,000 and we've now got the first photos from Cameron Mackintosh's new musical comedy BETTY BLUE EYES, based on the Handmade Film "A PRIVATE FUNCTION" by Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray. BETTY BLUE EYES is the first original musical Cameron Mackintosh has produced in ten years. It started previews at the Novello Theatre in the West End on 19 March and opens on 13 April.

In the cast are Sarah Lancashire, as ‘Joyce', RReece Shearsmith as ‘Gilbert', Adrian Scarborough as ‘Wormold', David Bamber as ‘Swaby', JaCK Edwards as ‘Allardyce', Ann Emery as ‘Mother Dear' and Mark Meadows as ‘Lockwood' and of course Betty the pig in the title role.

The company also includes Rachael Archer, James Barron, Dan Burton, Ian Conningham, Holly Dale-Spencer, Neil Ditt, Victoria Hay, Kirsty Hoiles, Chris Howell, Howard Jones, Robert Kershaw, Rebecca Louis, Andy Mace, Claire Machin, Laura Medforth, Annalisa Rossi, Hollie Taylor and Gemma Wardle.

Cameron Mackintosh said "I first read this musical about a year ago and immediately felt it was one of the funniest and most original pieces I had come across in years. I was already a great fan of Alan Bennett's hilarious film "A Private Function" so I could see how brilliantly the American writers Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman had adapted and extended the original, incorporating a joyously infectious score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

When I agreed to produce "Betty" I certainly didn't imagine that this unique musical tale set in 1947 would be so topical. From its opening number "Goodbye Austerity Britain", with a Government mantra of "Fair Shares For All", greedy local Councillors lauding it over a hungry belt-tightened population on rations, the worst winter in living memory and even a Royal Wedding (Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip's!) time seems to have stood still. But most great stories are timeless and this one revolves around an adorable pig called Betty who is secretly being raised to be the main course at a very private function to celebrate the Royal Wedding. To find out what happens you need to trot to the Novello Theatre."

Adapted from Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray's hilarious comic film "A Private Function"; a tale that centres around Betty, an adorable pig who is being illegally reared to ensure that the local dignitaries can celebrate the forthcoming Royal Wedding with a lavish banquet while everyone else makes do with Spam. This utterly British musical, full of eccentric characters, has a deliciously witty score by Stiles and Drewe, a marvellous cast of great British actors and, of course, Betty as Herself.

BETTY BLUE EYES has a book by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman adapted from an original story and the Alan Bennett /Malcolm Mowbray/Handmade film "A Private Function". Music is by George Stiles and lyrics are by Anthony Drewe. It is directed by Richard Eyre with musical staging by Stephen Mear. Designed by Tim Hatley with lighting by Neil Austin and sound design by Mick Potter. The musical director is Richard Beadle, musical supervisor Stephen Brooker and orchestrations are by William David Brohn.

Performances will be Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm. For more information, visit www.bettyblueeyesthemusical.com

Photos by Jane Hobson/London News Pictures/London News Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Betty as 'Betty Blue Eyes', Reece Shearsmith as 'Gilbert' and JaCK Edwards as 'Henry Allardyce'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Sarah Lancashire sings as 'Joyce.' 

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Sarah Lancashire as 'Joyce'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Betty as 'Betty Blue Eyes' and JaCK Edwards as 'Henry Allardyce'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Sarah Lancashire as 'Joyce' and Reece Shearsmith as 'Gilbert'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Sarah Lancashire as 'Joyce'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Reece Shearsmith as 'Gilbert' and the Company.

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Sarah Lancashire as 'Joyce'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Sarah Lancashire as 'Joyce'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Betty as 'Betty Blue Eyes', Reece Shearsmith as 'Gilbert' and JaCK Edwards as 'Henry Allardyce'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Sarah Lancashire as 'Joyce', Ann Emery as 'Mother Dear' and Reece Shearsmith as 'Gilbert'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
'Fair Shares for All' - Sarah Lancashire as 'Joyce' and the Company.

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Sarah Lancashire as 'Joyce' and Reece Shearsmith as 'Gilbert'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Betty as 'Betty Blue Eyes'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES
Reece Shearsmith as 'Gilbert'

Photo Flash: First Look at Cameron Mackintosh's New Musical - BETTY BLUE EYES


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