Dreamboats and Petticoats Review
If you like a show which has the music coming thick and fast then Dreamboats and Petticoats by Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran captures the songs of the late Fifties and Sixties in abundance.
Set in a youth club in London, this was like a teenage musical version of Eastenders without the gloom. The storyline was pretty predictable without a dark or dramatic element, but as a piece of nostalgic escapism this show was great entertainment.
Ben Freeman who played Scott Windsor in Emmerdale is Norman of Norman and his Conquests and struts his stuff as the arrogant Romeo who can sing without being able to write his own songs and thinks he's gods gift to women. He and Bobby (Scott Bruton) fight over the club vamp while ignoring his mate's kid sister the very talented Laura (Daisy Wood-Davis).
Scott who appeared in the live TV show X Factor carried the lead well although he did look a bit like Ian Beale playing opposite Daisy who is a relative newcomer. Both have great singing voices and conveyed the sense of that pre-Beatle era very well in their characters. AJ Dean as brother Ray seemed born to wear the teddy boy jacket and drainpipes and he along with Jennifer Biddall and Emma Hatton put in strong performances.
The sets and lighting were very good with special mention of the Southend fun fair set complete with dodgems. The supporting cast and musicians are also worthy of a mention with older Bobby (David Cardy) excellent as the youth club leader of that time and father of young Bobby.
While I'm not a great fan of these musicals written to suit pre-determined music, Dreamboats and Petticoats is excellent in its class producing a warm glow from a bygone era.
Runs to Sat 14 March, 2.30pm (Wed/Sat only), 7.30pm