Rolling back to the time of the swinging sixties, the Dreamboats and Petticoats tells a typical boy-meets-girl tale to a soundtrack of popular sixties hits such as ‘Let’s Dance,’ Runaround Sue,’ and ‘Let’s Twist Again.’
Set in a youth club Bobby amuses himself with table tennis, until his dreams of music and song-writing take over as a local competition is announced. Bobby begins his song-writing partnership with his best friend’s sister, Laura, until he is distracted with local flirt Sue.
Whilst the musical is predictably full of teenage angst and love complications, the production does have surprising set pieces. At one point the youth club take a trip to Southend to an amusement park where Bobby and Norman get involved in a fight; the action is slowed down, giving the act a grittier, authentic feel, with a pier materialising onto the stage.
The musical offers the cast plenty of opportunities to show-off their multitude of talents – singing, dancing and playing instruments, at some points simultaneously! Elizabeth Carter in particular shines as the geeky but loveable Laura, transforming from an ugly duckling into a swan as Norman and Bobby compete for her.
Dreamcoats and Petticoats is a heart-warming show that, with its boppy sixties soundtrack and reassuringly predictable narrative, is guaranteed to provide a little bit of sunshine to the most miserable of these so-called summer evenings.
Gemma Callaghan (DI Reviewer), 10/07/12
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