Sunday, July 14

I Should Be So Lucky – New Wimbledon Theatre

‘I Should Be So Lucky’ marks a long-awaited milestone in musical theatre, finally a production that pays total homage to the iconic music of Stock Aitken and Waterman, the soundtrack of “generation pop”, intertwined with a typically British camp musical comedy storyline that should, on paper, be guaranteed to leave audiences dancing in the aisles.  

At the heart of the show lies the story of Ella (Lucie-Mae Sumner) and Nathan (Billy Roberts), whose impending nuptials are thrown into total chaos when Nathan jilts Ella at the altar due to a mysterious family secret. All is not lost though as Ella’s larger than life family and closest friends rally around her, whisking her off to Turkey for what was meant to be her romantic honeymoon, but ends up being a glitter bomb of rom-com moments, intertwining one fantastic pop song after another including Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, Jason Donovan and many more, including a unique fairy-godmother style performance from Kylie herself!

From curtain’s up, it is clear that Debbie Isitt has written this show with the sole purpose of entertaining, and whilst she has certainly created a nostalgic journey through the golden era of pop, the overall production does unfortunately fall a little flat in terms of it’s formulaic, unoriginal and in parts, problematic writing. Isitt has curated the very best of what the hugely successful British songwriting and record producing trio has to offer and has quite literally crammed them into a full-size musical, but were it not for the well know hits, there would be little else to offer the audience other than plot holes, weak character development and poorly (at points offensive) written comedy.

Lucia-Mae Sumner as Ella, Billy Roberts as Nathan, and Kayla Carter as Ella’s chief bridesmaid Bonnie, all gave strong vocal performances, and Scott Paige as Michael and Jamie Chapman as Spencer, created iconic comedy moments, leading the cast to deliver numbers overflowing with enthusiasm and charisma. Unfortunately, there was clearly a variation in talent and ability across some of the more seasoned principal performers, with some extremely questionable vocals from some of the named characters. In fact, it is unusual to see the ensemble carry a production, but the true stars of this show are indeed the ensemble cast who shine through in every number, with high energy vocals and high-octane dance routines choreographed by the talented Jason Gilkison. At times, it proved quite impossible to focus on anything other than the talent within the ensemble.  

Luckily for Isitt, the show has been designed to entertain, and whilst the overall storyline, and some of the talent is questionable, the other production elements deliver everything the audience could want in terms of colour, infectious energy, and pop magic, with Tom Rogers’ extravagant set and costume design, based around a heart-shaped backdrop with vibrant lighting effects from Ben Harrison, and video and animation from Andrez Guolding, bringing the whole production to life. A true dream team in terms of high-quality production value.

Whilst ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ may not break new ground in terms of originality and is certainly not the best that musical theatre has to offer right now, the audience reactions are proof that it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and is guaranteed to fill theatres as it continues its tour to towns and cities across the UK until May 2024. Tickets are available here:

Reviewer: Alan Stuart Malin

Reviewed: 29th January 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.