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Backstairs Billy Tickets

Duke of York's Theatre

Penelope Wilton and Luke Evans star in this brand new comedy about the Queen Mother and her loyal servant - and friend of 50 years.

Backstairs Billy Tickets Available Now

Discover the remarkable story of a 50-year relationship between a royal and her servant in Backstairs Billy at the Duke of York’s Theatre. Penelope Wilton and Luke Evans star as the Queen Mother and William “Billy” Tallon in this brand-new comedy, which takes place amid the tumultuous events of 1979.

About Backstairs Billy

In 1979, the Winter of Discontent continues and a wave of workers’ strikes spread across the UK. The country is on its knees, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is pressing ahead with her plans. Change is coming, and it will be seismic.

In Clarence House, however, it is business as usual for the Queen Mother and her loyal steward William Tallon, affectionately known as Backstairs Billy. Receptions are steaming ahead, champagne is flowing freely… and the events inside and outside are about to collide with startling results.

Backstairs Billy is a new comedy by Marcelo Dos Santos and directed by Michael Grandage (Frozen the Musical), which brings a pivotal moment in the Queen Mother and Billy’s relationship to the stage with irreverent humour, wit and love. It is based entirely on real events: William Tallon served the Queen Mother for five decades, and the pair developed a strong bond until her death in 2001. He was not only her servant but a friend and confidante too.

Backstairs Billy Cast

Luke Evans stars as the eponymous “Backstairs Billy”, in his first West End role in 16 years. Evans has gained international recognition as an actor and singer, with roles including Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Bard the Bowman in The Hobbit, and Scott in The Girl on the Train. His stage credits include Rent, Miss Saigon and Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse.

Dame Penelope Wilton is one of the UK’s most distinguished actresses, with credits including Downton Abbey, Calendar Girls, Doctor Who and After Life. On stage, she is a six-time Olivier Award nominee for shows including Man and Superman, John Gabriel Borkman and The Deep Blue Sea. In 2015, she won the Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance in Taken at Midnight.

Don't Miss Tickets for Backstairs Billy

Luke Evans and Penelope Wilton transform into some of the most iconic figures of recent British history in this joyous show. Backstairs Billy is an unmissable new comedy, opening in October 2023.

Sorry this show closed 27 January 2024, we recommend these similar productions.

Guys and Dolls
Fawlty Towers
Performance dates:
26 Jan 2024 - 27 Jan 2024
Running time:
2 hours and 15 minutes including an interval.
Age recommendation:
Best for age 14+

Backstairs Billy Reviews

213 Reviews
  • 5 Stars54%
  • 4 Stars34%
  • 3 Stars11%
  • 2 Stars0%
  • 1 Stars1%

User Reviews


Starring Luke Evans (Beauty & The Beast) and Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey, Afterlife) 'Backstairs Billy' is set in 1979 telling the true story of the butler who worked for the Queen Mother at Clarence House for 50 years. Some parts were very funny Read more

Performance date: 28 November 2023

Based on the unique real life relationship between The Queen Mother and William ‘Billy’ Tallon, this is a very heartwarming and often hilarious glimpse inside the walls of The Garden Room in Clarence House. Set in both 1952 and 1979 we see Billy grow Read more

Performance date: 06 December 2023

Brilliant show, very funny. Loved the set & the attention to detail. (I don't know whether some people thought they were seeing a play about The Queen Mum, but they need to take the clue from the title - it's about Billy, and that does include hi Read more

Performance date: 04 January 2024
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