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Prize Hog Wins Over the Critics in Betty Blue Eyes at the Novello Theatre

Friday, 15th Apr 2011  

The reviews Start to Come in for the West End’s Latest Musical

Though previews have been going on for “Betty Blue Eyes” since Saturday 19th March 2011, it wasn’t until this week that critics finally got a look-in on the production and as a result the reviews have begun to pour in for the West End’s latest musical at the Novello Theatre. It seems that the star of the show is the animatronic pig that producers have brought in to portray the prize hog in the show, which is at the centre of a plot that sees a community attempting to celebrate a royal wedding.

There are plenty of positives to be found in the reviews. In reference to the animatronic pig, the BBC says that when she arrives onstage “she generates enough goodwill to turn the entire audience vegetarian”. Other reviewers agree, though Official London theatre says that whilst “she is indeed a thing of beauty, her facial expressions, ear-flicking and grunts endearing her to the audience” they were disappointed by her confinement to a particular spot on the stage. They do go on, however, to concede that this stops it from hogging the limelight and allowing the rest of the cast to shine.

As such Adrian Scarborough, Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith have all received words of praise from around the press for their performances.

The reviews for the latest London theatre production have not been through the roof, however, with critics criticising the show for what The BBC calls lack of “meat on its bones”. The Stage agrees, comparing it to “Billy Elliot: the Musical” and pointing out that the stakes “don't feel quite so high”.

“Betty Blue Eyes” is based on Alan Bennett’s movie “A Private Function” from 1984. It tells the story of a community of people putting together celebrations for the royal wedding between then-Princess Elizabeth with Prince Philip in 1947. Amongst the highlights of their celebrations is the promise of a prize hog – but they must go through some ill-advised means to get their hands on this anticipated possession.

So overall it’s a positive opinion of the musical. “Betty Blue Eyes” is at the Novello Theatre and is currently taking bookings until Saturday 22nd October 2011.

Article filed under: Theatre News | Musicals |