REVIEW: Dreamboats and Miniskirts – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

It’s 1963, the dawn of an new musical era: the advent of The Beatles and the Mersey Sound, but whatever happened to Bobbie and Laura, Norman and Sue and Ray and Donna, those music loving teens from Dreamboats and Petticoats? Well, all that’s answered in the sequel Dreamboats and Miniskirts.

Bill Kenwright has found an audience pleasing formula in his Dreamboats series and instead of decreasing in quality this sequel is actually stronger than the original. Acclaimed writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran use the wit they showed in hit TV shows, Birds of a Feather and Goodnight Sweetheart to great effect here, weaving an albeit flimsy but fun story around the greatest hits of the 60’s.

Bobby and Laura’s first single went to the top of the charts, Norman and Sue are living in marital bliss and Ray and Donna seem perfectly happy in their hairdressers and boutique, but all are still chasing their dreams: Norman wants to find his voice again, Ray wants to get out of the hair salon and be a band manager and Bobby and Laura are looking for that elusive follow up hit.

Moving into the next period of pop history really couldn’t fail to be anything but an absolute winner: who could possibly resist hearing “Twist and Shout”, “Do You Love Me?”, “House of the Rising Sun” and “Oh Pretty Woman” live? The murmurs of recognition as the first chords ring out on each tune and the amount of silent (and not-so-silent) mouthing of the words, speaks of the enduring popularity of this wonderful music.

The youthful exuberance of the cast and the sheer weight of talent on the stage goes a long way to ensuring the success of the piece. In a cast of infinite quality it seems churlish to single anyone out but Alastair Hill (Norman) and David Luke (Ray) particularly shine through as do Laura Darton (Sue) and Anna Campkin (Donna). The cast are called upon to act, sing, dance and play instruments – all of which are done with ease and quite considerable skill. The entire cast are utterly endearing and the joy from the actors on stage radiates out to the auditorium. They look as if they are having a ball – and to be quite frank the audience is too.

Fluff it may be but it’s hard not to love it, make sure you get along and see it – a great big ray of sunshine in a miserable summer.

5 *****

Runs until Saturday 15th August 2015 then touring.

Tickets available from: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/dreamboats-and-miniskirts/kings-theatre/