This ‘brand’ is also a tonic

Dreamboats and Miniskirts, Grand Theatre, Blackpool, Until Saturday

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 24th September 2015, 3:13 pm
Elizabeth Carter as singer Laura in Dreamboats and Miniskirts.
Elizabeth Carter as singer Laura in Dreamboats and Miniskirts.

‘Dreamboats…’ is becoming a brand like ‘Heartbeat’, and we can probably expect a succession of CDs trawling through the hits of the 60s and onwards with the live stage shows to match.

I’m particularly looking forward to ‘Dreamboats and Safety Pins’ when Bill Kenwright and his crew get round to the punk era.

They could even go back in time, of course. ‘Dreamboats and Flappers’ anyone?

Of course, the reason for the success of the current vogue for jukebox musicals like this one is that all the numbers are well loved hits from the era.

The dance routines, costumes and sets all fit snugly into the period and there is a simple storyline in the background to link the songs.

Perfect for an evening of nostalgia.

‘Dreamboats and Miniskirts’ is a sequel to ‘Dreamcoats and Petticoats’ and the music has moved on from the late 50s to the early 60s. Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, of ‘Birds of a Feather’ fame, again wrote the script.

After hitting the charts in the last show, Laura, again played by the hugely talented Elizabeth Carter, has fallen out with Bobby (Alex Beaumont), her singing partner (‘You Don’t Own Me’) and they are back playing St. Mungo’s School with their old group The Conquests.

Sue (Laura Darton) has settled down with Norman (Alastair Hill) and they are expecting a baby (‘Baby I’m Yours’) while Ray (Stephen Rolley) and Donna (Anna Campkin), after a rocky period (‘The Night has a Thousand Eyes’), get engaged.

Laura now has hits of her own as a solo singer but she gives her song, ‘Time Won’t Stand Still’, to the group as they go on tour with her as a support act.

Can they hit the big time themselves at last?

A packed audience mouthed the lyrics, tapped their feet in time to the beat and clapped enthusiastically, fondly remembering their teenage years.

Not only a good night out but a tonic.

Ron Ellis