All I can really say about Betty Blue Eyes is that I don't have much to say about it...not a great beginning to a review of a show really. It was a pleasant enough way to spend an evening. It did what it did well and that was being a traditional musical. The characters didn't quite seemed fully formed, more like caricatures than anything, and there weren't even many laughs for a comedy - yet there were enough quality voices and dances for this to go unsaid.
And then there's the pig. Betty really is something else. When I first heard the show featured an animatronic pig, I was intrigued but did not expect the pig to be quite so life like! Those 'blue eyes' and endearing expression really are there, and I was amazed by what the theatrical team had created.
I do feel though that without the feature of the pig the audience would not come away smiling as they do. The technologically advanced Betty is the only innovative, and perhaps even memorable, aspect of the show. While a few members of my family came out of the theatre buzzing, I had the feeling that the show - despite being a new production, felt stale. Though this is not to do with the performances, which were of a very high stand - but the story, style and score of the musical. The show was sweet and did its job but I just felt something was lacking.
I thought maybe I was growing away from my love of musicals. However I'm always discovering and falling in love with new musicals, and that's not to say they're actually new - often old classics that passed me by the first time. It's just that the musicals that excite me have a certain spark about them: wit, satire, memorable soundtracks and likeable characters.
If you can get cheap tickets and enjoy a well-produced, traditional music then this may be for you. I just can't quite understand the rave reviews and buzz around this show.
Betty Blue Eyes is playing at the Novello theatre & closes on 24th September so if you do want to see it you'll need to get in quick.