preacher man

Son of a Preacher Man

Belgrade Theatre


As my daughter so eloquently put it, “There’s only one thing nicer than a little bit of Dusty Springfield, and that’s a lot!”.

Heartily concurring, this was wall-to-wall Dusty and a great show full of amazing singers, actors, dancers and musicians. If anything was missing it was a weak story that somehow left the songs wandering alone.

Fortunately the songs are so great even without one of the best blues voices in the world to sing them that they could happily stand alone. The section I enjoyed the most was the main protagonist, Paul (Michael Howe) with Ellie-Jane Goodard as Sandra singing Spooky which I know as In the cool of the Evening. It was simply stunning.

The story concerned Paul (Michael Howe), Alison (Debra Stephenson) and Kat (Alice Barlow) who all face some sort of crisis that required them to travel to London’s Soho to visit a record shop that in the 60s was owned by the Preacher Man.

Since his death, son Simon (Nigel Richards) has struggled to keep it open but now it’s a coffee bar staffed by the singing Cappuccino Sisters (Michelle Long, Kate Hardistry, Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong). Simon tried to help the lovelorn visitors in sorting their various problems, incurring the supernatural help of his father on the way, but things don’t go to plan.

On stage as well as in the pit were some talented multi-instrumentalists and  the show has some really impressive singers including Nigel Richards, who I could happily have listened to all night, plus some wonderful musical arrangements that showed off that range of talents to the best. Easy on the eye, in kilt and vest and on cello was Liam Vincent-Kilbride whose impressive dance number with Kat was a showstopper.

Songs included I Close my Eyes, In the Middle of Nowhere, How can I be Sure?, You Don’t have to Say, Wishin’ and Hopin’, and obviously, Son of a Preacher Man, though, just a thought, might it have made a little more sense if the person who ended up holding his hand actually sang it?

Son of a Preacher Man made for an enjoyable evening, on its premier tour, that, despite some flaws, was a brilliant vehicle for Dusty’s repertoire and some amazing musical talent.  Directed by Crag Revel Horwood, it runs to 17-02-18.

Jane Howard


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