West End show on East Parade


Rachel Roberts

INSPIRED  by the compilation albums of the same name, this high-energy, toe-tapping delight is a real treat for fans of late fifties to early sixties music.

We are first introduced to Bobby as his older self - played by the loud and engaging X Factor star Terry Winstanley – reminiscing in his attic as his granddaughter picks through his record collection.

The story then moves back to Bobby in his youth (played by Waterloo Road star Scott Haining,) who is excellent and thoroughly likeable as the lovesick, spotty Roy Orbison wannabe.

We meet his friends (breathy, alluring bombshell Sue, played by Amy Diamond; Cock-sure self-appointed ‘dreamboat’ Norman, played by Ben James-Ellis, and Laura, played by Elizabeth Carter, who shines as the quietly talented and beautiful young innocent of the piece. Also worthy of a mention were Dan O’Brien and Anna Campkin, who play Ray and Donna.

The central characters are complimented well by a strong, multi-talented, all-singing, all-dancing support cast, most of whom play their own instruments – well.

We were treated to saxophones, guitar solos and a tinkling piano.

The well-worn boy-meets-girl formula and all of its problems informs the narrative here, alongside the story of adolescence in a more innocent time. Well-known and loved hits such as Bobby’s Girl, It’s My Party and Let’s Twist Again move the story of a song writing competition, a trip to Southend, the procurement of an electric guitar, and a pairing off for everyone along nicely.

There are plenty of cheeky jokes, too - look out for the song writing competition host’s announcement that the ‘Paul Lennon and John McCartney’ duo have taken third place, but are ‘away in Germany at the moment’ – “Keep up the good work, lads!”

If you’re expecting anything thought-provoking, deep or unpredictable, this show is probably best avoided.

However, if you’re looking to be swept away on a wave of wholesome, upbeat nostalgia, then Dreamboats and Petticoats is for you. 

15 – 20 Oct 2012 Pavillion Theatre Rhyl

See full story in the Free Press

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