Tuesday, August 16

Dreamboats & Petticoats: Bringing On Back The Good Times – Blackpool Grand

Dreamboats & Petticoats: Bringing On Back The Good Times is a follow on from the original feel good juke box musical. I had no idea what to expect this evening, but I assumed that the production would be very similar to previous DreamBoats & Petticoats productions, it was also a juke box musical and it did feature the same central characters and songs from the golden era of Rock’ n’ Roll, such as ‘To Sir With Love’ ‘Palisades Park’ and ‘Is This The Way To Amarillo’

The story tells of Laura (Elizabeth Carter) a successful singer and her partner on their number one hit record Dreamboats and Petticoats’ Bobby (Jacob Fowler) who has decided to re-join his former group Norman and The Conquests at St Mungo’s Youth Club. This is where the majority of the production is set, the other half on the Bognor Regis Butlins camp, performing for the summer season.

A strong cast of 16 performers, including a live onstage band and several actors who multitasked as musicians. A big shout out to the technical crew and the musicians, the sound was perfect tonight.

I expected more ensemble numbers and dancing, but it was definitely more about the music tonight. The cast performed a stunning acapella rendition of ‘Blue Moon’ really strong harmonies and tight vocals from the ensemble.

Direction and production by Bill Kenwright, musical direction by Sheridan Lloyd and Choreography from Carole Todd.

The show started at 7.30pm and was finished before 10pm, perfect timing and not finishing too late. It was a shame to see the theatre only half full however.

For me the temperature in the theatre was too hot, the air wasn’t circulating well at all.

‘Where The Boys Are’ was a highlight for me, beautifully performed by Samar’s Clarke as Donna. Fowler also had a lovely voice, with a nice vibrato.

The cast also features Mark Wynter (of Venus in Blue Jeans and Go Away Little Girl fame), who plays Laura’s manager, Larry. The audience loved him, and the older crowd seemed to enjoy seeing a true star from the 60s.

The story was slightly lacking, really scraping the links to tie the songs together and I wanted a little more dancing at times, having said that the audience couldn’t help but sing along. I have to admit I much preferred the original show, that’s not to say I wouldn’t recommend a visit to see this production, it has a real feel of musical nostalgia, and is worth watching, especially if this is your era.

Performances at Blackpool Grand Theatre running from 2nd – 6th August 2022. https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/dreamboats-and-petticoats

Reviewed: Rebecca Casey

Reviewed: 2nd August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★