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Mercury: Betty Blue Eyes

A 21-strong team will take to the stage at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester this spring in the new touring co-production of Betty Blue Eyes.

Fresh from his role with The Book of Mormon, Haydn Oakley stars as Gilbert Chilvers. Amy Booth-Steel, currently appearing in the National Theatre’s The Light Princess, will play Gilbert’s wife, determined social-climber Joyce Chilvers.

Set in 1947 austerity Britain, Betty Blue Eyes tells the story of humble chiropodist Gilbert Chilvers and his ferocious wife Joyce. 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!

Haydn’s extensive theatre credits include Wonderful Town at Manchester Royal Exchange, The Secret Garden at Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Passion at Donmar Warehouse. He has also appeared in Wicked and Spamalot.

In addition to The Light Princess, Amy’s stage credits include the National Theatre’s production of She Stoops To Conquer, the UK tour of One Man, Two Guvnors and the role of La Rosa in Sister Act at The London Palladium. Amy also made the final 12 in the BBC’s search for Nancy in I’d Do Anything.
Director Daniel Buckroyd said, “Betty Blue Eyes is the biggest show the Mercury has produced in many years. Supporting Amy, Haydn and Sally will be 18 experienced actors, singers, dancers and musicians from the West End and the best of regional theatre. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to assemble such a fantastic multi-talented company of performers for the regional premiere.” 

Choreography is provided by Andrew Wright, winner of the 2013 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Choreographer, and nominated at the 2012 Olivier Awards and the 2011 Broadway World Awards. His numerous credits include Singin’ In The Rain at the Palace Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre and the national tour, Barnum for Chichester Festival Theatre and Cameron Mackintosh, and the national tour of Wonderful Town.

The Mercury Theatre’s Richard Reeday is Musical Director. Richard’s previous theatre credits at the Mercury include The History Boys, Quadrophenia, and The Hired Man, the latter earned Richard a nomination for Regional Musical Direction Award in the Broadway World Awards 2013.

Betty Blue Eyes opens on March 14th at the Mercury Theatre before embarking on a five month tour across England in a new co-production between Mercury Theatre Colchester, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Salisbury Playhouse and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Betty Blue Eyes is at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester from Friday 14 March until Saturday 5th April. To book tickets contact the Box Office on 01206 573948 or visit www.mercurytheatre.co.uk

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