Rather than opening first at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, we hear that Betty Blue Eyes, the new Stiles & Drewe musical based on Alan Bennett’s 1984 film A Private Function, will come straight into the West End, with its world premiere slated for mid-April 2011, probably at the Novello Theatre, one of the West End houses owned by the show’s producer Cameron Mackintosh. Final casting is now under way, but Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith are apparently already signed up to star in the roles originated on screen by Maggie Smith and Michael Palin, while the supporting cast will include stalwarts like Adrian Scarborough, who’ll be making his musical debut.

The film was set in a Yorkshire village after the Second World War, where rationing presents a challenge for the locals who want to celebrate a Royal wedding in style. The musical, which has a book by Ron Cowen and Dan Lipman, is directed by Richard Eyre and choreographed by Stephen Mear, with designs by Tim Hatley. An official announcement is expected very soon – watch this space...