By Mark Shenton
08 Nov 2013
It will begin performances at Colchester's Mercury Theatre March 14, 2014, prior to an official opening March 18 for a run through April 5, then visit Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre (April 15-19), Salisbury Playhouse (April 24-May 17), Norwich's Theatre Royal (May 27-31), the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds (June 12-July 5), and the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse (July 9-Aug. 2).
The show, which has a score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe and book by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman adapted from Alan Bennett's screenplay, will be directed by Daniel Buckroyd, artistic director of Colchester's Mercury Theatre. It will feature choreography by Andrew Wright, design by Sara Perks and musical direction by Richard Reeday.
In a press statement, Buckroyd commented, "I fell in love with Betty the moment I heard George and Anthony’s wonderful witty score, and read Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman’s brilliant adaptation. They've somehow managed to capture all of the charm and drama of Alan Bennett's wonderful screenplay, whilst adding a real theatrical sparkle to the story. We're planning to take quite a different approach to the West End production – looking to bring out the 'make do and mend' feel of post-war Austerity Britain, so audiences can expect a real ensemble show with our very own piggy star at its heart."
Stiles and Drewe added, "We're tickled pink that these wonderful regional theatres have come together to produce the first ever tour of Betty in the U.K. Ron, Dan, Ants and I were always delighted by the London audience's reaction, but since the show closed we've been itching to hone the script and score a little further. We can't wait to see what Daniel and his creative team make of our brand new version of this quintessentially British tale."
To book tickets, contact the venues: for Mercury Theatre Colchester, www.mercurytheatre.co.uk (on sale from Nov. 27), Ipswich's New Wolsey, www.wolseytheatre.co.uk (on sale from Nov. 15), Norwich's Theatre Royal, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk (on sale from Jan. 7), West Yorkshire Playhouse, www.wyp.org.uk (on sale from Dec. 6), Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, www.everymanplayhouse.com (on sale from Nov. 27)