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Dreamboats & Petticoats - New Wimbledon Theatre (Review)

Dreamboats & Petticoats

Review by David Munro

DREAMBOATS and Petticoats, now on tour, is a paean to youth in pop musical terms. Set in the 1960s when rock and roll was in its infancy and popular music was on the verge of a sea change when melody and grace was subsumed to discord and irregular rhythm it was an era when the teenager became a voice to be heard and this is what this musical showcases with a youthful and talented cast headed by one of the icons of the era – Marc Wynter.

There is a minimal plot but what the show focuses on is the popular songs of the era (nearly 50 of them!!) which the cast deliver with verve and vigour. Every cast member eschews the current fashion of inarticulate screeching of songs but sing them in tune and audibly so that the lyrics can be heard and appreciated; something to be applauded in its own right.

The show emphasizes the morals of the period – a girl who went “all the way” was ostracized and romance was the order of the day.

The show is pervaded with innocence and niceness to an almost cloying extent. The result, however, is a happy jolly show full of the feelgood factor and certainly one for all the family even though the audience when I went were, on the whole, relics of the time.

The cast are young and mostly just out of drama school and full of exuberance and the joys of youth; what they lack in experience they make up in energy and charm, making the show a “jolly good team effort”.

Although this is basically an ensemble show Will Finlason, as Ray the hero’s best friend, stood out; I feel he is one to watch and I wish him every success in the future.

And what of the sixties pop idol Marc Wynter? Well, he more than held his own against the up and coming young talent surrounding him although I wondered whether it was wise to round the evening off with a selection of his old hits; the talent was there but the voice sadly was not; still perhaps half a loaf is better than none!

To sum up, this is a happy wallow in nostalgia, well presented and smothered in charm and good will. If I found it all a little too sweet and gooey for my taste, that does not detract from its intrinsic skill and expertise of performance and presentation. As with all Bill Kenright productions it is good value for money and a guarantee of an evening’s enjoyment.

Dreamboats and Petticoats
Book by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
Music various composers
Director – Bob Tomson
Choreographer– Carole Todd
Designer – Sean Cavanaugh
Costume design – Sean Cavanaugh & Brigid Guy
Lighting – Mark Howett
Sound – Ben Harrison
Musical director – Sheridan Lloyd

CAST: Marc Wynter – Hannah Boyce – Chloe Edwards Wood – Louise Olley – Sheridan Lloyd – Laura Sillett – Robert Dalton – Mathew Cothart – David Jay Douglas – Mike Lloyd – Damien Walsh –David Luke – Josh Tye – Stephen Rolley – Charlotte Peake – Will Finlason

Presented by Bill Kenwright

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, Wimbledon, London, SW19 1QG
Mon, July 26 to Sat, August 3, 2013
Evenings – 7.30pm/Matinees – Thurs & Sat 2.30pm
Box Office: 0870 060 6646