Writer: Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
Director: Bob Tomson
Reviewer: Sheila Stratford
Excitement, energy and laughter, Dreamboats and Petticoats is the musical to watch. A smash hit in the West End and now touring. The writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran have cleverly woven a tale of teenage love and angst with a good dose of comedy, around a full medley of the greatest hit songs from the Rock n’ Roll era of the fifties and early sixties.
Down at the youth club somewhere in Essex, Bobby and Norman compete in a song writing competition and for the affections and attention of the fabulous Sue. But, will the gawky, young schoolgirl, Laura, win her man? The exceptionally multi-talented cast are all young, apart from Bobby’s dad and the caretaker. The music is played and sung live on stage throughout the performance. It is guaranteed to generate a sense of nostalgia among the older members of the audience who will probably know every word of the lyrics. The joy of the performance is infectious to all Rock n’ Roll fans, whatever their age.
Matthew Colthart as Norman is particularly well cast, with a superb voice, quiff and swagger that in a bygone age would have had the girls screaming. Louise Olley as the gorgeous Sue plays a convincing loveable flirt. There are strong performances from Hannah Boyce as Laura and Greg Fossard as Bobby. The story line is maybe weak, but Boyce’s and Fossard’s energy and the comedy carries you through.
Full credit to all the singers and musicians. In these days where weeks are often spent in the recording studios, their live performance is first rate. There is nothing static about this rendition.The choreography is superb and has the audience to their feet. However, there is also a fair sprinkling of slow numbers reflecting the teenage sexual angst of the characters and the innocence of the period.
If you enjoy vintage, the costumes will not disappoint, and of course there are petticoats in abundance. This is a clean cut, glamorised production, no menacing teddy boys here.
This is an excellent performance. Dreamboats and Petticoats is the perfect show to lift the spirits and make you feel good.
Runs until: Saturday 18th January 2014