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

Starring:

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

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Backstairs Billy Ticket Information

  • Booking until:

    Saturday,27 January 2024

  • Running time:

    Approx 2h 15m (incl. interval)

  • Age restrictions

    14+

  • 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:

Acting
Music
Costumes
Story
Lighting
  • Recommended for:
  • Theatregoers (89%)
Latest customer reviews
Brilliantly funny

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

Reviewed on 24 January 2024 by , Nantes, France

Terrific

Well constructed drama.Most enjoyable

Reviewed on 23 January 2024 by , Kenmare, Ireland

Penelope par excellence

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!

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

A step back in time

Reviewed on 13 January 2024 by , Billericay, United Kingdom

VERY FUNNY, COMEDY PLAY, WELL SCRIPTED.

Reviewed on 11 January 2024 by , London, United Kingdom

Great Story and Excellent Production

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

Reviewed on 06 January 2024 by , Retford, United Kingdom

Glittering

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.

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.

Reviewed on 31 December 2023 by , London, United Kingdom

Entertaining

Very entertaining and enjoyable.

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.

Reviewed on 28 December 2023 by , Ashtead, United Kingdom

Fascinating story!!!

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

Life at a British Royal Palace

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

Perfect

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

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

Funny and Entertaining Story

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?

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.

Reviewed on 30 November 2023 by , Ringwood, United Kingdom

Disappointing

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

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.

Reviewed on 18 November 2023 by , London, United Kingdom

Very funny with great comedic timing

Reviewed on 09 November 2023 by , Loughton, United Kingdom

08 Dec
2023
Emmie Newitt

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

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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
2023
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