104 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4BG GB
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Backstairs Billy

Backstairs Billy Tickets

4.6/5 - based on 27 reviews
from 27 verified reviews
  • Starring: Luke Evans, Penelope Wilton
  • Tickets refunded if your event is cancelled
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Backstairs Billy in London


Luke Evans, Penelope Wilton

William John Stephenson Tallon RVM played a very special role in the life of the royals. Nicknamed Backstairs Billy, he was a valued member of the Queen Mother's staff at Clarence House. Penelope Wilton and Luke Evans star in this gorgeous comedy play set in 1979, in a Britain where civil unrest was the name of the game, exploring the close relationship between Billy and the Queen Mother. The rest of the cast will be announced nearer the time.

Penelope Wilton plays the Queen Mother and Luke Evans portrays Billy himself in a show that’s so funny the script made them laugh out loud. As Evans said, “It’s just so entertaining and such a joyous story about these two people: the Queen Mother, who was super famous, but also Billy. He was always there and spent most of his life working for her.”

Backstairs Billy theatre tickets take you to a world that has already delighted audiences through a Channel 4 documentary, Backstairs Billy: The Queen Mum's Butler, broadcast in 2009. Tallon was also played by Ian Stark in Tea With The Old Queen by Graham Woolnough, delighting audiences at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2012 then at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre. This new play runs at the Duke of York's Theatre from October 2023 to January 2024. 

The Set Designer is Christopher Oram and the Costume Designers are Christopher Oram and Tom Rand. The Lighting Designer is Ryan Day, the Music and Sound designer Adam Cork, and the Wigs, Hair & Makeup Designer Carole Hancock. The Casting Director is Jacob Sparrow. Associate Direction comes from Sophie Drake and the Costume Supervisor is Mary Charlton.

What's the plot of Backstairs Billy?

In 1996 Tallon was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal in Silver, and the gold medal in 2001, one of the very few holders of the medal in Gold. It’s the highest award in the lowest grade of the Royal Victorian Order, and represents a significant honour.

The Michael Grandage Company presents this fab new comedy written by Marcelo Dos Santos, examining a pivotal moment in the five decade relationship between the Queen Mother and her most loyal servant. 

As Grandage said, “It is always a great moment to celebrate the birth of a new comedy in the West End and particularly from an important new voice such as Marcelo Dos Santos. I am thrilled to be working again with Penelope Wilton and Luke Evans alongside a cast of twelve other actors as we bring an exciting new play to the stage this autumn and over the Christmas period ahead.”

Who is Backstairs Billy for? 

Backstairs Billy is recommended for people aged 14 or more. 

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Backstairs Billy Official Theatre Tickets

Our central reservation system connects you directly to the Duke of York's Theatre box office system. We provide live & full availability for Backstairs Billy tickets, from VIP and premium, to top price and discount tickets, helping you choose the perfect tickets for your budget. Pick your seats from our interactive seating plan and get your theatre tickets emailed to you instantly after your booking. Simply present your e-tickets at the door on the day and experience what London & the West End have best to offer: the magic of theatre. Buying tickets for Backstairs Billy has never been easier.

Backstairs Billy Ticket Information

  • Booking until:

    Saturday, 27 January 2024

  • Running time:

    Approx 2h 15m (incl. interval)

  • Age restrictions


  • Cancellations & Refunds

    Once booked, tickets to Backstairs Billy are usually non exchangeable and non refundable as per our terms & conditions. In practice, however, we will do our best to accommodate your request as long as we are notified at least 48 hours before the performance. Please contact us for more information.

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Backstairs Billy reviews

4.6 out of 5 based on 27 reviews

What to expect:

  • Recommended for:
  • Theatregoers (89%)
Latest customer reviews

All reviews are from customers who have been invited to leave a review just after seeing Backstairs Billy.


Brilliantly funny

such a thrilling experience i wished it didn’t stop!

C Reviewed on 24 January 2024 by
Nantes, France



Well constructed drama.Most enjoyable

F Reviewed on 23 January 2024 by
Kenmare, Ireland


Penelope par excellence

G Reviewed on 18 January 2024 by
Torquay. Devon, United Kingdom


Brilliant night at the theatre!

A peak back in time at the life of someone who bridged two major periods in history. She played an important role in the earlier one and was relegated to a very minor role in the later one. Also the story of the person who made it possible for her to navigate and survive the last half of her life. Brilliant!

P Reviewed on 16 January 2024 by
Bedford, United States Of America


A step back in time

T Reviewed on 13 January 2024 by
Billericay, United Kingdom



M Reviewed on 11 January 2024 by
London, United Kingdom


Great Story and Excellent Production

I Reviewed on 07 January 2024 by
Gloucester, United Kingdom


Beat expectations

I was expecting just a plain story play, but this beat that. It was funny all the way through. All actors played their parts well

R Reviewed on 06 January 2024 by
Retford, United Kingdom



M Reviewed on 05 January 2024 by
Littlehampton, United Kingdom


Risqué and funny.

Story told as factual and true to Billy’s lifetime of Royal service . Funny and sad.

J Reviewed on 04 January 2024 by
Kirkbride, United Kingdom


A fun performance

Thought it a little slow at first but that changed rapidl. Very funny especially second had. All actors were excellent especially Penelope and Luke.

S Reviewed on 31 December 2023 by
London, United Kingdom



Very entertaining and enjoyable.

A Reviewed on 28 December 2023 by
St Albans, United Kingdom


Cheeky, slick and entertaining show sprinkled with the stardust of Evans and Wilton

Great show, well delivered by an amazing ensemble. Luke Evans and Penelope Wilton both deliver beautiful performances, ably supported by the rest of the cast. Cheeky, slick and entertaining show, very glad I decided to treat myself to the ticket.

K Reviewed on 28 December 2023 by
Ashtead, United Kingdom


Fascinating story!!!

F Reviewed on 27 December 2023 by
Atlanta, United States Of America


Life at a British Royal Palace

R Reviewed on 20 December 2023 by
Broughton-in-furness, United Kingdom



What’s not to like , gorgeous intimate theatre , acting was superb …..staged beautifully and insight into the royal world !!

V Reviewed on 17 December 2023 by
Leamington Spa, United Kingdom


Funny and Entertaining Story

M Reviewed on 10 December 2023 by
St Ouen, Jersey


Interesting story

Show great , acting fab , felt there was no need for last bit with the corgi and Billy , spoiled it for us , but maybe that really happened?

A Reviewed on 03 December 2023 by
London, United Kingdom


Great Show

Did not quite know what to expect from the very start we loved it and laughed out load.

S Reviewed on 30 November 2023 by
Ringwood, United Kingdom



Disappointing. No storyline, no substance. A little vulgar in part.

D Reviewed on 29 November 2023 by
Beaconsfield, United Kingdom


See something else

Nowhere near as funny as the critics said it was. Heavy dialogue and fragmented presentation. Plays like an out of date farce. Spend your cash elsewhere - even a circus would be better.

C Reviewed on 18 November 2023 by
London, United Kingdom


Very funny with great comedic timing

A Reviewed on 09 November 2023 by
Loughton, United Kingdom

08 Dec
Emmie Newitt

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by Emmie Newitt | Friday, December 8 2023, 16:59

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10 Oct
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by Emmie Newitt | Tuesday, October 10 2023, 11:34

Autumn has arrived, even if records of 29 degrees across the UK in recent weeks has made it feel like Summer has hung around for a little longer recently. Now the nights are drawing in slightly earlier, instead of heading straight home for an evening on the sofa - why not spend your time with a trip to one of London’s theatres.

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by Emmie Newitt | Monday, September 25 2023, 13:46

October is on its way - the month of pumpkins, Halloween and the crisp colours of Autumn are truly on their way. However, that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the West End and there is so much to look forward to.

london theatre shows opening in october 2023Dear England, Treason The Musical and The Time Traveller's Wife The Musical.

As we look ahead to October 2023, there are several exciting shows set to open in the heart of the city. The Ocean At The End of the Lane returns to London after its hugely successful UK tour and there’s even the arrival of new productions like The Time Traveller’s Wife and Backstairs Billy. So whether you’re a fan of musicals or plays, here are the 7 shows you can look forward to experiencing on the London stage from October:


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05 Jul
Emmie Newitt

Penelope Wilton and Luke Evans to star in new West End play BACKSTAIRS BILLY

by Emmie Newitt | Wednesday, July 5 2023, 09:39

Luke Evans is returning to the West End this autumn alongside Penelope Wilton in a new play about the Queen Mother's relationship with her most loyal servant.

luke evans and penelope wiltonLuke Evans and Penelope Wilton

Penelope Wilton and Luke Evans to star in new West End play BACKSTAIRS BILLY