On the 10th anniversary of this hugely successful musical I was transported back in time to the ever so exotic Southend-On-Sea in the early sixties. The birth of the Rock ‘n’ Roll era and the beginning of something brilliant. Dreamboats and Petticoats celebrates the smash hit albums of the same name and in doing so brings to life a feel-good, hilarious and uplifting story of coming of age.
I thoroughly enjoyed my evening in the sixties, in fact I left wishing that it was my prime. It was lovely to see the older members of the audience reminiscing on the good old days and I must say they were quite tuneful when they got the chance to sing along! The songs flow seamlessly into the story and it is obvious that this show has been written with them in mind. At times it did feel that it was relentless song after song without much dialogue, but that was only a minor qualm. The jokes had me giggling throughout and the 10 minute boogie section at the end was a definite highlight, with the entire audience up out of their seats. Certainly feel-good evening.
The cast are fabulous whilst playing their instruments live on stage which works perfectly with this particular story. I was particularly impressed with Alistair Higgins and Alistair Hill; the 2 leading lads who both provided killer vocals and impressive dance moves. Elizabeth Carter and Laura Darton played their contrasting roles as the 2 leading ladies wonderfully and Jimmy Johnston gave a strong performance as the father figure. The rest of the cast were fabulous although I would have preferred a larger ensemble to increase the energy!! My favourite bits were without a doubt the acapella moments where this cast truly excelled.
With a set covered in 60’s throwbacks and a whole host of Rock ‘n’ Roll classics to bob along to, this show really does provide a blast from the past. I can only imagine how wonderful it must be for those members of the audience with fond memories of the time. If the names Buddy Holly, Billy Fury and Roy Orbison bring back fond memories, I highly suspect that you’ll absolutely love this show. If they don’t, you’ll probably love it anyway!
You can catch Dreamboats and Petticoats at Milton Keynes Theatre until 8th July before it continues on its UK Tour !! For more information, check the Dreamboats and Petticoats Website!
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*Production images by Pamela Raith