Theatre Review: Dreamboats and Miniskirts at Royal & Derngate

Dreamboats and Miniskirts
Dreamboats and Miniskirts

Dreamboats and Miniskirts is the follow-up musical to the popular Dreamboats and Petticoats, and continues the story of Bobby and Laura’s musical journey, moving the setting along to 1962.

The production is written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the duo behind Birds of a Feather, and produced by Bill Kenwright, so there are some guarantees of quality – and the production itself did not disappoint.

Despite being a sequel, I did not feel lost having not seen the first show; the story was recapped and is quite loose anyway, with the emphasis being on the musical element of the proceedings.

The fact that said storyline is scant can be excused by the fact that the music is so good. All members of the cast are fully competent musicians and singers and produce a genuine sound of the 1960s as part of a live show.

The staging and scenery is kept to a minimum with the stage space being filled by the cast and the musicians, whose energy and quality of performance are both very high.
I went with my father who was a teenager himself at the time the musical is set and for him it was a real trip down memory lane in every way, including the fashions, but especially the music.
One artist who particularly shone was Louise Olley, who plays Sue, and has an incredible voice and energy. But, having said that there wasn’t one weak member of the cast.

They are a very talented group of young, vibrant musicians performing to an audience of predominantly pensioners, but with a scattering of youngsters, many of whom attended dressed in the fashions of the era.

The audience were clapping and singing along and enjoying every minute.

It was a nostalgic treat and one which will delight anyone who was around at the time and anyone who is a fan of the music from that period – which, let’s face it, is probably pretty much everyone!

If I have one criticism it’s that the final song - “When You’re Young and In Love” - could have been a more upbeat number so as to finish on a high.
All in all, this was a very entertaining show for all popular music lovers and with a large helping of nostalgic goodness.

Dreamboats and Miniskirts runs at the Derngate until Saturday January 31.