For CCADS’ latest production, Betty Blue Eyes, husband-and-wife team Kerry and John-Paul McCrohon are once more united on stage.
In a 28-strong cast that also includes several WOW247 Award winners and nominees, the troupe is taking on the musical based on the cult 1984 Alan Bennett film, A Private Function, that starred Michael Palin and Maggie Smith.
The original Sir Cameron Mackintosh production of Betty Blue Eyes opened in the West End in 2011, and its cast included Portsmouth’s own Jack Edwards.
Directed by John-Paul, CCADS aim to take the audience back to 1947 and immerse them in the period.
Kerry, who plays Joyce Tilvers, says: ‘I’m playing the wife of JP’s character Gilbert, so we’re playing a husband-and-wife team – again. I love it, I love performing with him more than any other.
‘We think each other’s thought, he gives me a piece of direction and I know what’s coming and I’m moving in that direction, so we sing from the same hymn sheet.
‘The shows he chooses, he’s so passionate about before he casts them, he’s so very at home with them on stage, you know he’s your scaffold, he will support them. If there’s some slip up, which there rarely is, he’ll be there to bail you out.’
Kerry and JP were fans of the original film and saw the West End musical twice.
‘It’s an incredibly funny film, and they’ve managed to keep all of that humour and warmth in the musical.
‘We went to see Jack Edwards perform it in the West End and we fell instantly in love with it. It’s a real belly laugh hoot. And quite an emotional rollercoaster, it’s got real heart to it, it’s a wonderful piece.
‘It’s life in the West End was frustratingly short-lived, it’s such a shame that such a magical British piece didn’t last longer on the West End stage.
‘JP had his heart set on it for a long time, so when the rights came up he was very quick to jump on it. We’re very fortunate to have one of the first amateur productions of it.’
Station Theatre, Hayling Island