Betty Blue Eyes
Directed by Judith Jackson, assisted by Izzy Rodney
Musical direction by Patrick Williams
Choreography by Brittnelea Bliss & Jacky Logan
Our enthusiastic cast and crew really enjoyed staging this very British musical, based on the 1984 Alan Bennett film, ‘A Private Function’. It is set in 1947 in the fictional Yorkshire town of Shepardsford, where the townsfolk are struggling to with the harsh post-war rationing regime and there is a gaping class divide between those on the ‘twist’, benefitting from illegal favours and those who are forced to make do and mend. The upwardly mobile couple Gilbert and Joyce, battle against both their gnawing hunger for a decent meal and for the acceptance from the town's elite. The star of the show was undoubtedly our puppet pig ‘Betty, who desperately tries to escape the butcher’s knife whilst the whole town seems to determined to turn her into roast pork. A great show and definitely ‘Another Little Victory’ (to borrow the title of one of the numbers) for little CADOS.
Mornington Hall, 25th-28th October 2023
NODA review highlights
A cast of twenty-eight is a lot of people to fit onto the acting space at Mornington Hall, but the actors were well drilled and the pictures they created together were wonderful. The scenery was cleverly designed and painted. There were so many scenes and all worthy of note; the Primrose Ballroom, the Kings Head Pub, Sutcliffe’s Farm just kept coming and coming. There were some great ensemble numbers that were very well staged and moved. Pig, No Pig was a terrific highlight. The setting of the three patients [in ‘Magic Fingers’] in the triangle and the movement from one to another, each then telling their story, was a thoughtful interlude. Each of the three acted the lyrics with great empathy and the voices together were a joy.
The air raid scene was given the reverence it deserved. It came on the back of the lively Ballroom scene and brought the horror of war into the audience’s consciousness. The way the corrugated iron sheets and the stacks of bricks were handled through the air to do their damage was so clever and rather special.
The harmonies achieved by the trios and groups were beautiful and you could see the work everyone had put in. You were blessed by some excellent voices that showcased their talents. With the bar raised high by these performers, others raise their game also. In all, this was one of the best singing displays from CADOS I have seen, well done to everyone. If there was a star of the show it was probably the gingernut loving Betty. A wonderful creation of a large pig with a charming smile and bouncing ears. There was so much character in Betty that we were happy to believe in her and follow her story. The attention to detail and authenticity with the costumes was extraordinary. The vintage 1940s period was captured in all cases. A special mention for the fabulous lighting design [where] so many colours, effects and zones that made each scene look different from the rest. The huge amount of work you all put into producing this complex musical was rewarded with an excellent show. The look and feel of 1940s England was fantastic and with many excellent performances you nailed this lovely show. I am in full admiration of another CADOS hit.
Paul Daynes, NODA Regional Representative