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Dreamboats and Petticoats at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

Published by: Cameron Lowe on 20th Aug 2013 | View all blogs by Cameron Lowe
Dreamboats and Petticoats returns to Glasgow proving that this particular nostalgic musical has some staying power on the UK circuit.

Dreamboats and Petticoats

The nostalgic, retrospective musical show tour has become commonplace in our theatres … but their popularity does not guarantee that any particular production is any good. A cynical producer would insist that building a show around 45 classic chart hits from the 50s and early 60s would deliver a smash hit musical. But the audiences who were first attracted to the theatre to see “Buddy” have been suckered by a few badly produced, but similarly themed, shows since and have grown more sophisticated. The bar has been raised.

Dreamboats and Petticoats is a Juke Box musical in its purest form but it delivers more than you might hope for. OK, the story is light and the choreography is simplistic; but the music, humour, performances and blatant onstage FUN really lift this show out of the ordinary. The story is based around a church youth club and an entry into a national song writing competition. Almost as expected – girl worships boy from afar, boy doesn’t notice girl, girl makes boy jealous, boy shows interest, girl (apparently) changes her mind, boy gets sad, girl and boy finally realise their true love, the end. But writers Marks and Gran (of Birds of a Feather fame) have built in some instantly appealing characters and some regular chuckles along the way so that the story becomes a simple vehicle for delivery of the humour and the music.

Performances from this largely breakthrough cast were excellent. Leading actors Stephen Rolley, Matthew Colthard, Louise Olley, and Laura Sillett all delivered songs, dance and characters well. Newcomer, Hannah Boyce, sang particularly beautifully as Laura while Will Finlason astonished with an outstanding vocal and character performance in the role of her brother, Ray. The ensemble cast were impressive as they sang danced and played their way through the rock and roll songbook. Didn't I mention that the cast played their own instruments? Yep, put “Return to the Forbidden Planet” in a time machine and you’ll find yourself with “Dreamboats and Petticoats”! Somehow, amongst all of this talent, Chloe Edwards-Wood caught the eye in the minor role of Daisy and her significant role as ensemble dancer and tenor sax player (doing both to such a high standard at the same time demands this credit).

In fact, my only gripe with this production was the shameless parading of Mark Wynter in the final 15 minutes which effectively transformed his casting in the minor roles of Phil / Older Bobby into that of "Aging Headliner" in some crazy justification of his stealing the final bow.

Producer Bill Kenwright has, once again, delivered something special here. Watch out for some cleverly penned contemporary gags … and a scene stealing monk!

Mon 19– Sat 24 August
Mon - Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm
Tickets: £12.90 - £38.90
Box Office: 0870 060 6648 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)



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