Following on from the huge success of Dreamboats and Petticoats comes the next chapter in the story of Bobby and Laura as they head into the 1960’s with Dreamboats and Miniskirts. The costumes are a little shorter than before but the music is just as good, if not better in parts.
In 1962 Bobby and Laura’s relationship is starting to show weak points as the pressure of show business takes its toll. They have had a number 1 single but their careers have stalled along with their relationship. Bobby (Alex Beaumont) and Laura (Elizabeth Carter) are both well matched with superb voices and a likeable innocence about them.
The other two couples in the story, Ray (David Luke) and Donna (Anna Campkin) along with Norman (Alistair Hill) and Sue (Louise Olley) appear happy in their relationships with the latter recently married and expecting a child. Again both couples gel well together with Olley having a stand out voice.
Whilst Laura explores a solo music career, Bobby returns to the youth club he used to attend and joins up with his former band The Conquests which taste success under record producer Tony (Alan Howell). I won’t spoil the end of the story for those who have not seen it, suffice to say Bobby never stopped loving Laura, it is just a case as to if she feels the same way.
The entire cast in this production directed by Bill Kenwright and Keith Strachan are immensely talented with most playing instruments live on stage as well as acting out supporting roles in the story. All have bar Beaumont and Hill have previously appeared in the prequel to this show. Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran have written a believable if not slightly weak book, but the music carries you through that.
With nearly 40 hits from the 60’s condensed into just over 2 hours on stage there are plenty of recognisable songs, as well as one or two less well known. Most link well into the script sometimes with predictability you can see coming a mile off. The beauty of this show is every song is played and sung entirely live.
Sean Cavanagh’s simple but effective set design transports you back to the 1960’s and is complemented by clever lighting from Tim Oliver.
Some would say making a second instalment of this franchise may have been a bit of a risk following the success of the first. The show manages, just to keep the momentum going, although at times the pace seems to slow down a little too much. However, for sheer music enjoyment and the skill of the cast it is a show that has life and a touring future.
Reviewer: Paul Downham
Reviewed: 20th April 2015