Backstairs Billy

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Catch Luke Evans and Penelope Wilton in a new comedy with Backstairs Billy play tickets

What is life like behind the gilded doors of the royal palaces? Luke Evans and Penelope Wilton star in the brand-new comedy Backstairs Billy at the Duke of York’s Theatre this year, telling the true story of the Queen Mother and her most loyal employee. This warm and funny story brims with wit and is a fascinating look at the relationships held by the Royal Family.

The year is 1979, and it is the infamous Winter of Discontent. As waves of workers’ strikes threaten to destabilise the UK, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher powers forward with her plans. In Clarence House, these problems seem distant. It is business as usual for the Queen Mother and William “Backstairs Billy” Tallon. The regal matriarch and her loyal servant – never not seen with a twinkle in his eye – prepare for champagne receptions and meeting important people, but events from outside the palace walls are about to come crashing in…

The Backstairs Billy play is a new comedy by Marcelo Dos Santos, directed by Michael Grandage (Frozen the Musical), based on the true story of William Tallon, who worked for the Queen Mother for more than 50 years and enjoyed a close friendship with her. 

Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) returns to his stage roots as William Tallon, having started his career in musicals including Piaf and Rent. Olivier Award winner Penelope Wilton is the Queen Mother, following acclaimed roles in Downton Abbey, Calendar Girls and After Life

This charming and surprising story is both funny and thoughtful, with a fantastic cast bringing two real characters to life on stage. Don’t miss the fantastic Backstairs Billy play when it premieres in the West End from October 2023. 

Child friendly?

The Backstairs Billy play is recommended for ages 14+.