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Dreamboats And Petticoats

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Review by Andrew Collins

The show runs from Tuesday 29th April to Saturday 3rd May at the Theatre Royal, Brighton.

Directed by : Bob Tomson

Starring: Roger Martin, Chloe Edwards-Wood, Sheridan Lloyd, Robert Dalton, David Jay Douglas, Damien Walsh, Josh Tye, Greg Fossard, Will Finlason, Hannah Boyce, Louise Olley, Laura Sillett, Mathew Colthart, Mike Lloyd, Will Tierney, Michael Park, Victoria Quigley

 

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The Theatre Royal was transported back in fabulous style to the early 60s last night with a saucy and sassy musical tale of teenage angst, growing pains, love and laughter, scripted by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran. The West End sell-out production hit Brighton with full gusto, featuring hit songs of the rock ‘n’ roll era from the multi-million selling Dreamboats and Petticoats albums which inspired the original show.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran

It’s set in 1961 Essex as two young musicians – the shy and awkward Bobby and the slick and ego-centric Norman compete in a song writing competition, but also, more urgently for the attentions of the gorgeous but fickle Sue. However, Laura, Bobby’s best friend Ray’s younger sister has designs on Bobby – and so the love trysts begin.

The show opens in the present day, with the older Bobby, now a Grandfather, together with his Grand-daughter, rediscover his first Fender electric guitar and reminisce about his youth. Suddenly, the set changes and we are back at his youth club where his first forays into romance and music begin.

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As both lads compete for the song writing competition, Laura also reveals her musical talents and often leads the cast into excellent renditions of rock ‘n’ roll classics which intersperse neatly and cleverly within the storyline.

Theatre Royal Brighton

In all, there are 45 songs covered and what makes this a stand-out show is that all the music and singing is live, with the band on stage and several of the actors doubling as musicians as well. Together with wonderfully choreographed dance pieces and surprisingly funny acts – not least because of the input of veteran actor Roger Martin (he sings too!) – but also because of all the familiar teenage rites of passage relived on stage, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable show.

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Dreamboats and Petticoats

For two of the cast, Dreamboats and Petticoats marks their professional debut and both bring a fresh and exciting energy to the stage – indeed all the cast and musicians clearly put their heart and soul into their performances. The pace never lets up, the songs come thick and fast and by the end of the second half, most of the audience were on their feet and dancing, even the ones old enough to have been the original rock ‘n’ rollers. And it takes something pretty special to do that.

For further information and tickets, visit : http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/dreamboats-and-petticoats/

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