A dream of a show

dreamboats cast

Era we go then! Dreamboat cast members David Luke, Anna Campkin, Alex Beaumont and Elizabeth Carter find themselves dedicated followers of sixties fashion at  Flamingo Vintage, in Birmingham's historic Custard Factory, once home to Bird's Custard.

Dreamboats and Miniskirts

New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

*****

THIS jukebox musical is a sequel to Dreamboats and Petticoats, shifting the musical spotlight from fifties rock and roll to sixties pop, but retaining the same winning formula.

Once again, the formidable Bill Kenwright production machine is behind the show, ensuring high production values and a good quality cast.

BAFTA-award winning script writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran also return to keep the action moving between songs around three couples, Bobby and Laura, Norman and Sue and Ray and Donna .

The 1960s was pop’s golden era and provides a treasure trove of musical material to plunder, every song will be familiar. Musically, it is pretty much impossible for the show to fail, and it doesn’t, from the opening Joe Brown’s chart topping hit Picture of You, to the end some forty numbers later.

St Mungo’s Youth Club in Essex is once again where the action mainly unfolds, opening as The Conquests are re-joined by Bobby (Alex Beaumont), who agrees to return to the band as the lead singer having split with Laura (Elizabeth Carter).

The latter is the star of the show, on her own with You Don’t Own Me ,and as part of a trio, with a beautiful version of All You Have To Do Is Dream, Sue (Louise Olley) and Donna(Anna Campkin) harmonising wonderfully with her.

All the music is played live under musical director Michael Kantola with his versatile band. Chloe Edwards-Wood (tenor sax and clarinet) and Charlotte Peak (bass saxophone and flute) excel, - and they dance too! Effort is spent on the detail, Chris Coxon switched to playing a left-handed Paul McCartney-style Hofner violin bass in The Beatles’ Twist and Shout, his bass playing throughout was outstanding

Norman (Ross William Wild) – may be down on his luck as a sewage disposal worker on the drains – but he can belt out a song, most memorably on Hippy Hippy Shake  Alan Howell as Tony impresses on House of the Rising Sun, a harbinger of shifting musical tastes.

No-one with nostalgia for the period and music will leave Dreamboats and Miniskirts disappointed. A lightweight story is enhanced by some neat comedy and witty one-liners, the music is a joy and the audience sing and dance along with an exuberant cast. To 18-10-14

Gary Longden

13-10-14

Memories are made of this

****

IT’S inevitable that the audiences will wonder how this sequel to Dreamboats and Petticoats will compare with the hugely popular original, but there’s no need for concern.

Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, this musical is simply bursting with hits that bring memories of the swinging sixties flooding back, and there’s hardly a dull moment.

Even though the story itself lacks a little depth, with bits and pieces about on-off relationships between wannabe pop stars, there isn’t much spare room with more than 40 cracking songs to get through.

Bobby and Laura want another crack at stardom, but fall out, as they link up again with talented pals Ray and Donna and Norman and Sue.

Alex Beaumont (Bobby) and Elizabeth Carter (Laura) have perfect voices for the songs, and there are excellent performances from Ross William Wild (Norman), Louise Olley (Sue), David Luke (Ray) and Anna Campkin (Donna) as the cast deliver hits like I Only Want to be With You, Venus in Blue Jeans, Twist and Shout, Be My Baby, Oh Pretty Woman, and many more.

The on-stage band are terrific, with a special mention for Chloe Edwards-Wood and Charlotte Peak who have roles in the story while also playing tenor sax and bass sax beautifully. To 18.10.14

Paul Marston 

Contents page Alex Reviews A-Z Reviews by Theatre