Maxine Peak to star in new Northern musical celebrating bravery and British spirit

BETTY! A SORT OF MUSICAL sees the Northern star joined by Seiriol Davies to put a unique spin on the conventions of a classic musical.

By Emma Davidson | 1 November 2022

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BETTY! A SORT OF MUSICAL is a brand-new Royal Exchange show, written by and starring Maxine Peake and Seiriol Davies and directed by former Royal Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom. 

Maxine Peake and Sarah Frankcom have established a formidable creative partnership, developing some of Manchester’s most groundbreaking stage work from THE SKRIKER to THE MASQUE OF ANARCHY and most recently THE NICO PROJECT. 

Joining them for BETTY! A SORT OF MUSICAL is the ‘visionary’ and award-winning writer, composer, performer Seiriol Davies. The cast is completed by Carla Henry, Lena Kaur, Joan Kempson and Eva Scott. Sharp and funny BETTY! is a celebration of the human spirit, a joyful and uplifting reflection of the gumption, bravery and strength it takes to speak out. Opening on Saturday 3 December 2022 the production runs until 14 January 2023.

In a small village hall, The Dewsbury Players (Yorkshire’s most passionate, dedicated and inventive amateur-dramatics society), have come together to celebrate their most eminent local hero, Dewsbury-born Betty Boothroyd, the first female Speaker of the House. 

Meredith, her daughter Angela, three equally devoted women (and Calvin), are ready to create the most awesome musical Yorkshire has ever seen! Emboldened by their heroine’s indefatigable tenacity, this amateur group prove themselves to be extraordinary women on and off stage. At a time when everything seems so polarised, BETTY is a celebration and for the Dewsbury Players it is a tribute to the unexpected rewards that can come from thinking outside of the dispatch box.

The cast is also joined by Carla Henry (LIGHT FALLS, OUR TOWN), Lena Kaur (THE GHOST TRAIN), Joan Kempson (EVERYONE LOVES A WINNER, RUTHERFORD AND SON), who all return to the Exchange’s unique stage, and Eva Scott who makes her Royal Exchange Theatre debut.

The creative team includes: Designer James Cotterill, Lighting Designer Malcolm Rippeth, Composer Seiriol Davies, Sound Designer Claire Windsor and Movement Director Chi-San Howard.



Date: Saturday 3rd December – Saturday 14th January
Venue: The Royal Exchange Theatre
Time: 2.30pm / 7.30pm
Price: £10 – £22.50