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Son of a Preacher Man @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 7th Mar 2018 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye

  Son of a Preacher Man Tickets at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre,

Dusty Springfield was born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien on 16th April 1939 in West Hampstead, but was brought up in High Wycombe until the early 50s.  Starting her career in 1958, Mary was a folk singer and joined a band called the Lana Sisters, leaving them in 1960 to form a pop-folk trio with her brother Tom called The Springfields.  They chose the name whilst rehearsing in a field and so ‘Dusty Springfield’ was created.

One of the few female singers who were iconic enough to be known just by their first names, Dusty enjoyed huge chart success throughout the 60s. With her rich mezzo-soprano voice, she garnered fans from around the globe and had hit after hit. The Look of Love was written by Burt Bacharach for the 1967 Bond parody Casino Royale and was nominated for an Oscar for best song.

After the huge international success of Mama Mia, there’s been a huge demand for shows based on the music of some of the best known singers.  Son of a Preacher Man is set in a former Soho club, where three broken-hearted people meet to try and find the ‘Preacher Man’ to help heal their hearts.  Trying to match lyrics with a storyline is not an easy task and this conceit is very clunky and at times ridiculous.

The actors try their best to believe in this ludicrous plotline and I really felt for them as it’s so hard to give credibility to this bunkum.  There were some very odd decisions taken which had the audience laughing for all the wrong reasons, e.g. someone popping in and out with a trombone, dancing with a chair as if in love with it and ending a song with everyone collapsing on the floor….?  We were all looking at one another in disbelief! 'Wishin' & Hoping' took on a new meaning.....

The second act was a fraction better than the first and there was a very good version of ‘A House is Not a Home’.  The songs of course are what people want to hear and if you can filter out the rest of the show I’m sure people will go home singing ‘I Only Want to Be With You’, ‘The Look of Love’, ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’ and ‘Son of a Preacher Man’. 

A new authorised biographical musical 'Dusty' is in production and starts touring in June.  Meanwhile, if you’re a big fan of the songs, Son of a Preacher Man tours the UK till 2nd July and continues at The Waterside until Saturday 10th March.  www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury

 

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye

6.3.18

@yvonnedelahaye

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