Tuesday, August 23

Betty Blue Eyes to close

Despite very positive reviews the new Stiles & Drewe musical Betty Blue Eyes posted its closing notices at the Novello Theatre last night.

There have been rumours circulating in the West End for several weeks that the show would close when one if its stars Reece Shearsmith leaves on 8th October, but Cameron Mackintosh decided that poor ticket sales could not sustain it until then and it is due to close on 24th September.

In a press statement the producers said: "After receiving some of the best reviews seen for a brand new musical in the past 20 years and despite an enormously enthusiastic reaction from audiences each night, the new musical has failed to attract an audience in sufficient numbers to remain economically viable.  It seems that the prevailing economic uncertainties nationally are leading audiences to take less risks on spending their money on new and unknown work and to seek refuge in safe and familiar titles and material.  It is, perhaps, significant that Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera continue to play to packed houses every night." Mackintosh  commented, "It is very curious that after such amazing reviews and positive word of mouth, no one knows the real reason why Betty couldn't find a bigger audience. We have been consistently playing to just over 50% but it just isn't enough to cover the costs.  Of course I am disappointed but I'm not despondent, I am enormously proud of Betty. I know that she will eventually have her day and another life."

I feel very sad that this show is closing after six months as new musicals are few and far between in London's West End at the moment and I really hoped Betty Blue Eyes would make it until the New Year or at least until the divine Sarah Lancashire left the show in December.

Hopefully the charming animatronic pig with the voice of Kylie will not be put back in her pen for too long and the production will tour next year.

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