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Backstairs Billy - Exploring a pivotal moment in time

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Booking from
Friday, 27 October 2023

Booking until
Saturday, 27 January 2024

Running time
Approx 2h 15m (incl. interval)

Performance Times

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
- - 14:30 - - 14:30 -
19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30 -

Backstairs Billy

William John Stephenson Tallon RVM, 1935 –2007, was affectionately nicknamed Billy Tallon or Backstairs Billy. A loyal steward and member of the Queen Mother's staff at Clarence House, he led an extraordinary life. Penelope Wilton and Luke Evans will star in the so-called Queen Mother comedy in late 2023 and early 2024, presented and directed by Michael Grandage Company and written by Marcelo Dos Santos. The play explores a pivotal moment in the 50 year relationship between the Queen Mother and her servant, and the rest of the cast will be confirmed nearer the time.

Theatre tickets for Backstairs Billy take you back to 1979, when strikes were bringing the country to its knees and we were just about to enter a period of seismic social change led by Thatcher. But inside Clarence House, nothing has changed. The drinks are flowing and the parties are carrying on, but the two worlds are about to collide with dramatic results. 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.

Audience Latest Reviews

Reviews Summary based on 27 reviews

What to expect








Young Couples:

Brilliantly funny
such a thrilling experience i wished it didn’t stop!
CHRISTOPHE, 24 Jan 2024
Well constructed drama.Most enjoyable
Francis, 23 Jan 2024
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!
Perry, 16 Jan 2024
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
Richard, 06 Jan 2024
Risqué and funny.
Story told as factual and true to Billy’s lifetime of Royal service . Funny and sad.
Jane, 04 Jan 2024
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.
Sandra, 31 Dec 2023
Very entertaining and enjoyable.
Adriana, 28 Dec 2023
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.
Katherine, 28 Dec 2023
What’s not to like , gorgeous intimate theatre , acting was superb …..staged beautifully and insight into the royal world !!
Vivien, 17 Dec 2023
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?
Adele, 03 Dec 2023
Great Show
Did not quite know what to expect from the very start we loved it and laughed out load.
Stephen, 30 Nov 2023
Disappointing. No storyline, no substance. A little vulgar in part.
Deborah, 29 Nov 2023