Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Musical Weekend: Betty Blue Eyes at the Novello Theatre and and The Kissing Dance at Jermyn Street Theatre

With son David visiting London for the weekend and grandchildren up from Surrey on Saturday, I jumped at the chance to attend two musicals, only one of which I agreed to review. In different circumstances I'd have been with the anti-cuts protesters instead of attending a Betty Blue Eyes preview, so I was delighted when a splinter group went on the rampage through Covent Garden. Fortunately, their intentions were peaceful.

It turned out to be the best musical I've seen for years. I expect I was influenced by the northern wartime setting, contemporary relevance and Alan Bennett's very funny script. Top quality directing by Richard Eyre, the magic of a state-of-the-art West End theatre and Sarah Lancahire leading a great cast. This is a hugely entertaining show.

Families of marchers thronged the bar at the Royal Festival Hall where we enjoyed drinks afterwards.

Son David said he'd preferred the intimacy of the tiny 70-seater Jermyn Street theatre where we'd been the night before. I could sympathise - Fringe theatre's a seductive experience, and this musical adaptation of She Stoops to Conquer evoked an enthusiastic response. My review appears on the Remotegoat website.

It'a a shame that Fringe theatre shows get such a restricted run, but The Kissing Game, is to tour to other venues.