REVIEW: Betty Blue Eyes, Harrogate Operatic Players, Harrogate Theatre

The cast of Betty Blue Eyes
The cast of Betty Blue Eyes

The musical version of the Alan Bennett classic A Private Function has been brought to Harrogate Theatre.

It is a truly Yorkshire comedy with just the right smattering of bad language and Yorkshire humour.

A spectacular set with expert scene changes from the backstage crew assisted seamlessly by members of the cast and fabulous costumes, hair and makeup, made for a slick and professional production, which is what we have come to expect from Harrogate Operatic Society.

The first act sets the scene for an event involving a royal romance and a pig destined for the celebration banquet.

Stuart Hutchinson gave a convincing and sympathetic performance as the down-trodden chiropodist husband of the over bearing and snobbish wife, played by Ruth Graham. Her solo of Nobody with slick costume changes was fabulous.

Helen Mills, Laura Forsberg and Lizzie Gravestock gave a moving performance with expert harmonies in Magic Fingers’so too did the three girls in the Lionheart Trio Naomi Bass, Natalie Page and Morna Bunce.

They say never work with children or animals, yet here they go again, only this time with a mechanical pig and one ‘child’ namely Holly Todd as Veronica Allerdyce whose stage presence was outstanding. They say there is no such thing as a small part and Holly proved the point in spades.

Two particular highlights in the second act were the Pig No Pig scene, hilarious and chaotic with the wonderful Christine Castle as Mother Dear and in contrast What Kind Of Man I Am’a very moving solo from Stuart Hutchinson which drew the audience closer to this character.

There is a scene in the gents toilets that has to be seen to be believed.

With standout performances from everyone in this huge cast, this is an unusual, nostalgic and very Yorkshire musical.

Don’t miss out – Betty Blue Eyes is on until Saturday June 10.

Performances are daily at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2pm.

Tickets can be booked on 01723 502116.