The time period of the 50’s and 60’s is heavily celebrated by churning out smash hits and changing the course of popular music forever. It helped establish talented musicians such as Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran and the recently deceased Chuck Berry. Dreamboats And Petticoats originally celebrated this music with a compilation album. This album sold over two millions copies and claimed the number one spot in the UK charts; this caught everyone off guard. Brian Berg, who was the director of Universal Music UK, decided to create a musical including these songs. Dreamboats and Petticoats remained consist in the world of theatre.
This UK tour has a promising cast that is ram packed with fresh faces and plenty of experience in the field. Alistair Higgins stars as the awkward main role of Bobby and Alastair Hill plays love rival Norman. Elizabeth Carter stars as the subtle and sweet Laura and Sue is played by Laura Darton. There are too many names to mention as there is so much talent on offer for Dreamboats and Petticoats. Jimmy Johnston being the most successful though as he’s an extraordinary man with two Olivier Award nominations to make him a name you will always remember.
The one thing I enjoyed mostly about this is the amount of charm that radiates from all of the characters. Everybody was on top notch form, especially the performances of Sue and Laura that captured the characters perfectly. Elizabeth Carter executed Laura’s awkwardness splendidly and Laura Darton’s take on Sue also stood out amongst the rest. From the awkward sex jokes to the sharp introductions of the songs are a pleasure to witness and chuckle at. However, sometimes the songs feel like they are crammed in too tight within the story. Even though the irresistible charm remains the songs can be a little bit suffocating.
The costumes were absolutely spot on to make sure vintage lovers wont go cold turkey on us. The set wasn’t as colourful as I hoped; the second half of the first act was the most decorative. It was a basic set with banners of 50’s references of music and film covers all over them. The backing band on the stage are a bunch of talented folk that adds to the charm and talent of this tour. The music certainly got everything into the swing of things. And to get this off my chest… I enjoyed the bumper cars.
The addictive charm of Dreamboats and Petticoats will definitely please the elderly and lovers of everything vintage. The song list can’t be contested by many musicals based on 50’s music and it has certainly got a fantastic reaction from the audience. It’s a cheerful musical with a cute yet slightly predictable story. You will struggle to go back home without a smile on your face after the nostalgia wraps you around in a nice comfort blanket. This musical will struggle to bring in a fresh faced audience, but Dreamboats and Petticoats ticks the right boxes for a night of vibrant entertainment.