Theatre News

Amy Booth-Steel and Haydn Oakley lead Betty Blue Eyes UK tour

The pair will lead the cast of Stiles and Drewe’s musical on its first tour of the UK

Haydn Oakley and Amy Booth-Steel as Gilbert and Joyce Chilvers
Haydn Oakley and Amy Booth-Steel as Gilbert and Joyce Chilvers

Amy Booth-Steel and Haydn Oakley will lead the cast of the upcoming UK tour of Stiles and Drewe's Betty Blue Eyes, which opens at the Mercury Theatre Colchester on 19 March.

The musical, which is based on the 1984 comedy film by Alan Bennett, first opened in the West End in 2011 starring Sarah Lancashire, Reece Shearsmith and Ann Emery.

Set in 1947 austerity Britain, it tells the story of humble chiropodist Gilbert Chilvers (played by Oakley) and his ferocious wife Joyce (Booth-Steel). When an invitation to the social event of the year fails to materialise, the Chilvers resolve that they must do whatever it takes to get their fair share of the banquet’s centrepiece – a rations-busting illegal pork roast!

Amy Booth-Steel has just finished playing Piper in The Light Princess at the National Theatre. Her other stage credits include She Stoops To Conquer (National Theatre), One Man, Two Guvnors (UK tour) and Sister Act (London Palladium). She also made the final 12 in Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for a Nancy I’d Do Anything.

Haydn Oakley's theatre credits include The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre), Wonderful Town (Manchester Royal Exchange), The Secret Garden (Edinburgh Festival Theatre) and Passion (Donmar Warehouse).

They will be joined in the cast by Sally Mates as Joyce's mother. Mates was in the original cast of Les Miserables, and also appeared in the 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2, as well as in Tom Hooper's 2012 film version. Her other credits include Godspell and Fiddler On The Roof.

The rest of the cast in Daniel Buckroyd's production comprises Laura Baldwin, Adam C Booth, Ricky Butt, Rebecca Louis, Kate Robson-Stuart, Oliver Izod, Joe Maxwell, Tobias Beer, Jenni Bowden, Rachel Knowles, Lauren Logan, Matt Harrop, Kit Benjamin and Anthony Ray.

Betty Blue Eyes opens on 14 March at the Mercury Theatre Colchester, before touring over five months to Ipswich, Salisbury, Norwich, Oxford, Leeds and Liverpool.