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The Glenn Miller Story - Milton Keynes Theatre

Published by: Louise Winter on 26th Oct 2015 | View all blogs by Louise Winter

Reviewed by Louise Winter

26th October

Glenn Miller poster

These jukebox tribute shows can go either way. This is definitely one of the better ones coming as it does from Bill Kenwright’s well-oiled machine. There’s plenty going for it - Miller’s arrangements of iconic tunes; all the best known included here, It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, Zing went the Strings of My Heart, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Sing, Sing, Sing and of course In the Mood, played by a superbly tight 16 piece orchestra led by Andrew Corcoran. Then there is Bill Deamer’s classy choreography enthusiastically performed by the very strong six members of the chorus. Designer Mark Bailey and Lighting Designer Nick Richings have done a marvellous job of creating effective staging.

GM 1

The real draw though, is obviously Tommy Steele. He is the consummate showman, in the business for almost 60 years, and is bright, warm, and genuinely having the time of his life. Receiving a rapturous reception as he walked on stage for the first time it was very clear that the audience was here to see him and to listen to Miller’s music (and to sing, hum and sway along).  It was irrelevant to them that Miller was 40 when he disappeared and Steele is almost twice that age. Whilst hardly resembling the image on the promotional poster, his twinkling eyes and cheeky smile are much in evidence.


The narrative doesn’t delve into the mystery of Miller’s disappearance and the treatment of his life story is rather cursory. As so often the case with these types of shows we have a thinly veiled excuse for a concert of ‘the best of’. However, it’s all very pleasurable, visually stimulating and beautiful to listen to. Any fans of Miller or Steele should leave fulfilled especially with the finale when the audience can have a good old sing-and-clap-along to Don’t Sit under the Apple Tree, I’ve Got a Gal From Kalamazoo and Boogie, Woogie Bugle Boy. The audience were delighted and this is most definitely a crowd pleasing show. As Steele said at the end 'This is your chance to have as singalong and if you don't know the words you're in the wrong theatre!' Too true ... this is a show for the already converted!

Plays MK theatre until Saturday 31st October  

Box office 0844 871 7652 (bkg fee)



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