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Review: Dreamboats and Miniskirts at Newcastle Theatre Royal

The sequel to Dreamboats and Petticoats will carry you away on a wave of Sixties-driven nostalgia

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Sue and Norman played by Louise Olley and Alastair Hill
Sue and Norman played by Louise Olley and Alastair Hill

I might not be old enough to remember the swinging Sixties and the days of youth clubs and rock ‘n’ roll dances but I was brought up with many songs from the show.

A couple of years ago I had been whipped up in the energy of Dreamboats and Petticoats and I was eager for more.

The show is an extension to the nostalgia-driven franchise, with everyone now in the rock ‘n’ roll Sixties, that bygone age when everything seemed so new and exciting and The Beatles were showing people how they didn’t need a posh background or a fancy education to secure wealth and fame.

It’s inevitable audiences will wonder how this sequel compares with the hugely popular original, but there’s no need for concern.

The show is bursting with hits that will bring memories of the Sixties flooding back and is guaranteed to have you finger clicking and hand clapping by the end.

Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the musical – set in 1963 – follows the story of Bobby and Laura in another crack at stardom. However, following a fall out they link up with talented pals Ray and Donna and Norman and Sue.

The plot itself isn’t overly-complicated but it’s bursting at the seams with smash hits, leaving little space for anything else.

The cast, despite lacking big names, delivers stellar performances and the vocals from Washington-born Elizabeth Carter, who plays Laura, are second to none.

However, for me, the musical highlights come from the males and their renditions of Pretty Woman, Louie Louie and Hippy Hippy Shake, which really took the atmosphere up a notch.

It really is a feelgood show and guaranteed to brighten up any cold, miserable January evening.

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