Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas Wishes

Well another year has passed and this year seems to have had many successes for Fran and things look set to continue as She will be backing Darren Hayes at His intimate New Years Eve gig in Vauxhall this year, then A Little Night Music in Paris in February. Lets hope that 2010 will be as successful throughout the year as the beginning promises to be.

Please be sure to leave your Christmas Messages to Fran here.

And let me also thank all of you for supporting this site and your continued support for Fran as she continues to amaze us with her talent.

Merry Christmas and A Happy 2010 to you All.

Friday, 4 December 2009

The Sheffield Star Review

REVIEW: Dreamboats and Petticoats, The LyceumPremium Article
Published Date: 02 December 2009

This musical, named after the best selling album, could easily have been trite and contrived; a loose story of 60's youngsters, complete with teenage angst, falling in and out of love and entering a song writing competition, the whole show linked by all the songs from the 60's you remember.
But from the opening number of Let's Dance (Chris Montez had the orginal hit ) the show rocks. Each member of the young cast exudes talent and committment as they sing and dance their way, with superb timing, through songs that their parents sang and everyone can sing along too.

Forty years on and countless replays later, most know the words to most of the songs, a tribute no doubt to the art of telling a story in under three minutes.

If you can remember the E type Jag unveiled and Danny Blanchflower refusing to appear on This is Your Life; Rod Laver winning Wimbledon and the contraceptive pill going on sale that's the era in which Bobby competes with Norman for the affection of sweet Sue, growing up in the 60's, all set to over 40 timeless songs.

Bobby, played by Josh Capper, is ideally cast at the geeky teenager, growing into a man. Song writing schoogirl Laura (Lauren Hood) perfectly cast as a sweet innocent and Norman (Jonathan Bremner) as the cocky, know it all, Jack the Lad, older than his years who produces a performance of comedy and pathos, epitomising the ego maniacal character with charm and Elvis-like curling lip and hip swivelling gyrations.

The young cast belt out impressive performances with gusto, the band rocking out songs like The Wanderer, Da Do Ron Ron, Poetry in Motion, Do You Wanna dance etc etc. And a day at the seaside helps to create the type of nostalgia that really does make you feel good.

Bobby's voice reaches the Lyceum roof on Only the Lonely, while Laura's Teenager in Love is achingly heartfelt.

The whole cast certainly work together in unison, their ability and obvious enjoyment is transmitted to the audience.

The quality of the performance is simply staggering and from the last few numbers starting with Let's Twist Again; the whole Lyceum audience was on its feet, singing, clapping and dancing.

If this feelgood musical doesn't do what is says on the tin then really you must have died!

So many classic songs from the late 50's and 60's - nostalgia really doesn't get any better than this.

This show and cast deserves to run and run ....

Sheffield Telegraph Review

REVIEW: Dreamboats and Petticoats, Lyceum TheatrePremium Article Published Date: 03 December 2009
By Sean Bruce

AFTER a highly successful run in the West End, there is always the fear that a show won't travel well to the provinces.
However, Dreamboats and Petticoats was both breathtaking at times and hilarious at others and gave a chance to marvel at some amazing songs from the golden era of rock n roll.

Set in 1961, when Kennedy became US president and the E type Jag was born, nostalgia may have drawn many of the mainly middle-aged audience but it definitely entertained the younger elements too.

Inspired by the million-selling albums of the same name, Dreamboats and Petticoats was made into a musical by Laurence Marks and Mark Gran of Goodbye Sweetheart and Birds Of a Feather fame.

The songs used are classic tracks from the likes of Orbison, Cochran, The Shadows and countless others.

The mix of humour and selection of songs to tell the story is a near-perfect fit and has the capacity audience singing and clapping along after the first few ice-breakers until nearly everyone is on their feet dancing at the finale.

The role of Norman is played by Jonathan Bremner of X Factor fame, whose impressive singing took the eye among an excellent cast.

One of many highlights is an interweaving of two songs, Runaway and Who's Sorry Now, sung at the same time with alternate lines, which sounds unlikely but works a treat. Why venture to London when Sheffield can draw shows of this quality ?

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Sheffield's Top 10 this Week

Below is a link to the Sheffield Telegraphs top 10 for the week and funnily enough Dreamboats and Petticoats has maded it at Number 3 Just behind Ricky Gervais and the Lady Boys of Bangkok.

Sheffield Telegraph

So all in the Sheffield Area make sure you try and get along to see the final week of this years tour. And good luck to the cast hope your last week goes with a bang and then you can all enjoy a well deserved rest you've been fabulous.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Milton Keynes Review

The link below is to the review from Milton Keynes that appeared in the Oxford Times.

Milton Keynes Review

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Review Catch Up

Have just found the below Brighton review, Fran again shines as we all expect.

There is superb singing throughout, with knockout performances from Jonathan Bremner and Francesca Jackson as the band’s arrogant lead singer and the “Little Town Flirt”.

Also Milton Keynes article - Milton Keynes is almost a sell out already so much so that they are putting on an extra matinee both here and in Sheffield. (Fran is the official source on this) so thats 9 shows for each of those locations.

Keep up the good work all the cast your all doing a wonderful job as the latest rumor of further tour dates and a new run on the west end are due to commence early 2010.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Some New Pics From Dreamboats and Petticoats

The Below are all care of Fran, and include all the fabulous cast, hope you all enjoy and for those of you who have seen the show hope they bring back some great memories from the show for you.

Sue & Norman

I Don't Know

Fran proving She can dance

Sue & Norman


Southend Pier

Sue falls under Normans Spell.....


The Southend Slugger

The Cast

Bromley Article

Below is a link to an announcement about Dreamboats and Petticoats

Fan Review - From Stoke

Emily Hambleton November 6
On Thursday 16th October I went to see Dreamboats & petticoats at the Regent Theatre, Stoke. We were sat 4 rows from the front and when we first got there 60’s music was playing.
At first I wasn’t sure this would be my type of show but then I thought Fran’s in it so it has to be amazing!
The show started of with Old bobby telling his granddaughter about when he was younger and in love. Soon after
when the lights went down and the screen came up we were all dazzled by 60’s style costumes and red lipstick. Fran was on the stage almost immediately and her dancing was brilliant all the way through. The show is set mainly at a youth club and Fran plays Sue & we soon find out that she is a huge hit with the boys there. The first song sung was ‘Lets Dance’ by Bobby who appears to like Sue a lot but she’s not interested at all. Throughout this song people were already starting to clap along and dance even though the show had only been on for 5 minutes!!
The first time we hear Fran’s amazing voice is when she sung ’Shakin all over’ with Norman. Sue is obviously trying to impress Norman so she try’s everything to win him over. Another cast member who had an equally amazing voice was Laura who was played by Lauren Hood she belted out song after song which left most of the audience with goose bumps as the voice which came out of her was not expected what so ever.
Even though I didn’t realy know any of the songs they were all very catchy and I found my self dancing along too! By the end of act one lots of people were up on there feet and dancing in the aisles.
Fran didn’t have many solo’s in the show but she had plenty of opportunities to show of her voice and wow the audience, which she did. Two of my favourite songs were Shakin all over and You don’t know.
Towards the end of the show, no one was sitting down everyone was dancing and having a good time and when the curtain came down for the final time the dancing didn’t stop there! Everyone was singing as they were going out and they could still be heard on the streets. It was an atmosphere I will not forget for a long time!
After the show I headed to the stage door to Meet Fran again and after about 15minutes she appeared and came straight over. We had a picture and I told her how much I enjoyed the show and she said get well soon to me as my voice had almost gone. Overall an amazing show and must be seen by all ages! I’m 15 and didn’t think that sort of music would of appealed to me. But it just shows all ages can have a brilliant night out and end up enjoying different music!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Dreamboats and Petticoats, Regent Theatre, Hanley

Dreamboats And Petticoats Regent Theatre

THE lights went down, the curtain raised and there were quiffs, red lipstick-coated pouts, polka dots and rock 'n' roll gyrating hips galore. In no time at all pensioners were up in the aisles doing the twist.
Yes, Dreamboats And Petticoats, the celebration of the smash hit albums of the same name, has finally made it to the Regent Theatre, Hanley.

Set in 1961 the story is simple, a flashback of adolescent romance with a mix of rock 'n' roll. Most of the action takes place at St Mungo's youth club, with Bobby (Josh Capper) and Norman (Jonathan Bremner) competing to win a national song writing competition and the hearts of female fans.

Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the team behind Goodnight Sweetheart and Birds Of A Feather, the production has a comedic element that perfectly suits its audience. And quips such as "There's no point living beyond your means. If everybody did that the country would be bankrupt" can be appreciated by all in wake of the recession.

However, the plot is entirely predictable and the dialogue acts as a series of song cues. This production is definitely a celebration of music rather than a writing masterpiece, and the vibrant backdrop and energetic and vocally talented cast are what bring it to life as opposed to the script.

Dreamboats And Petticoats provides an easy, undemanding and fantastically upbeat night out at the theatre, and the music of Roy Orbison, The Shadows and Billy Fury among many others comes thick and fast in 43 classic numbers.

Those who were teenagers back in 1961 dominated the audience, and the unashamed singing and dancing in the stalls showed these songs are still clearly imprinted on their minds.

But it doesn't matter what age you are, Dreamboats And Petticoats is feel good nostalgia at its best. If you're not dancing in the aisles by the end, you'll no doubt be smiling along with those who are.

Dreamboats And Petticoats runs at the Regent Theatre until Saturday. 0844 871 7649 for details.

Claire Walker

Newspaper Stories about Dreamboats

The following two links are the announcements for Dreamboats and Petticoats in Grimsby and Crewe.

Chester Chronicle Article

Grimsby Article

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Nottingham Fan Review

Below is Abbie's review from Dreamboats and Petticoats, (although the picture is from CSWY last year.)

On Monday 5th October I went to watch Dreamboats and Petticoats the musical at the Nottingham Theatre Royal. This Brand new musical, which is inspired by the million selling compliation series ' Dreamboats and Petticoats' is performed by a very strong and talented cast of 17 who all shine in their own way throughout the entire show.

Set in 1961 the show tells the story of two young musicians Norman and Bobby who go on to compete in a national song writing competition and more importantly strive to seek the attention of the beautiful Sue! However, Bobby soon realises that the shy and reserved Laura is more than what she seems to be and that her passion for playing piano could help him to find love and rock and roll fame!

From the moment the curtains opened at the begining of Act one I instantly knew that this musical was going to be one I would never forget. The performers were full of energy and gave their all to make each character believable.

Francesca Jackson shone beautifully in her role as the gorgeous Sue. I was taken back by her performance of the song " You don't know" in Act 2 and the passion she put into the song was truly breath taking. Clare Ivory who played Donna did her role justice and her beautiful vocals certainly complimented Francesca's.

The supremley talented Lauren Hood stole the show in her role as Laura. Her outstanding vocals and ability to make her characters niaevety and timidness seem realistic made her stand out from the other members of the cast.

Young actor Josh Capper and former X factor contestant Jonathon Bremner both portrayed their characters very well and gave an excellent performance.

All in all this was an exceptional show which was well worth both the time and the money! 

Friday, 9 October 2009

Dreamboats Review - Ilkeston Advertiser

Yet another good review for the touring cast of Dreamboats and Petticoats.

It's a joy to watch

submitted picture<br />A DREAM OF A SHOW: Dreamboats And Petticoats.
submitted picture
A DREAM OF A SHOW: Dreamboats And Petticoats.

Published Date: 08 October 2009
Would-be pop star Bobby has two ambitions at St Mungo's Youth Club in Essex – to make the big time and impress the local siren, the gorgeous Sue.
The first is nipped in the bud by the arrival of Norman, not the best choice of names for a teen idol but one which nevertheless gives rise to the group Norman and the Conquests.

Then, when the flash newcomer moves in on Sue, Bobby's tale of woe seems complete.

But waiting in the wings is his best mate's 15-year-old sister Laura, plain, bespectacled – and a songwriter who shows every promise of becoming the 1961 version of Cathy Dennis.

The pair team up to enter a national songwriting competition and so the tale of Dreamboats and Petticoats unfolds at Nottingham's Theatre Royal this week.

This jukebox musical by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran is based on the best-selling albums Dreamboats and Petticoats and if the plot is slight it is an absolute joy of a show with more than 40 numbers from the pre-Beatles era performed live.

They are given a fresh lease of life by this talented cast and the uncertainties, fun and misunderstandings of being a teenager in that innocent age are brilliantly captured.

Dreamboats and Petticoats is showing at the Theatre Royal until Saturday.

  • Last Updated: 08 October 2009 4:33 PM
  • Source: Ilkeston Advertiser

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Review - By urieleyes

h1Found the following review which thought you might all like......

Dreamboats and Petticoats – 07.10.09

October 7, 2009
  • Bobby – Josh Capper
  • Norman – Jonathan Bremner
  • Laura – Lauren Hood
  • Sue – Francesca Jackson
  • Ray – Wayne Smith
  • Donna – Claire Ivory
  • Phil/Older Bobby – Peter Gerald
Sat in the Theatre Royal Nottingham for the first time on a Wednesday matinee surrounded by the older members of the population who had turned out in force (the theatre seemed to be packed to the rim) I wondered what I had let myself in for. The main reason I was there was to see Francesca Jackson, but came out surprised as to how much I’d enjoyed the show in general. Ok so the plot isn’t exactly groundbreaking and they really do try to cram in as many numbers as possible, but it was harmless heartwarming fun. I hadn’t heard many of the songs before (not really my generation … 30 years to early really!) but they are so catchy and easy to listen to it doesn’t really matter, in fact I think that aided my enjoyment because they actually seemed to fit into the plot rather well. I really liked the way they integrated the ‘band’ into the story, and how the ensemble girls switched between being exactly that and playing their instruments.
I thought the cast was great, I was relieved to enjoy Francesca’s performance as much as I thought I would … that voice is just so so easy on the ears! I also really liked Lauren Hood, again beautiful voice. I wasn’t so so keen on the male leads but that didn’t really matter.
I did refrain from getting up and dancing for the sort of finale numbers, but a lot of the audience did and seemed to be having a ball. Overall I think it’s definitely worth seeing, you won’t be blown away, but its a nice, fun way to pass an afternoon or evening, worth it if only to see Francesca Jackson shine :]

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Nottingham Press Review

Hi Guys below is a link to the review in "This is Nottingham".

Thought I'd highlight the last paragraph for you......

TV fans may recognise X-Factor finalist Jonathan Bremner in the part of Norman, and I'd Do Anything finalist Francesca Jackson as Sue. Both make the up-tempo rockers and haunting ballads sound remarkably fresh, as do the rest of the young and energetic company.

Nottingham Press Review

Friday, 2 October 2009

Fran Interview for Nottingham Paper

Hi guys, below is the interview featured in todays/yesterdays paper in Nottingham with Fran about Dreamboats and Petticoats that will hit Nottingham on Monday.

Why Dreamboat's Francesca still has the Oom-pah-pah

Friday, October 02, 2009, 08:00

Busy girl: Highly talented Francesca Jackson.

IT was obvious from a few weeks into their respective competitions that Connie Fisher would play Maria in The Sound of Music and Lee Mead would be Joseph. Andrew Lloyd Webber's How Do You Solve A Problem shows turned out to be not that much of a problem after all.

But the whittling-down process for Cameron MacIntosh's Nancy (for the West End production of Oliver!) proved far more taxing for Saturday night TV audiences.

We could have had a tall Nancy, a short Nancy, a young, innocent Nancy, a saucy nymph of a Nancy and even an Irish or Welsh Nancy.

We ended up with brash, ballsy Blackpool lass Jodie Prenger, whose run in the West End show continues to this day.

But, like the other 11 bonnet-flinging hussies, Francesca Jackson has emerged from the show's bursting-at-the-seams talent pool to prove they were anything but also-rans.

"I think we're all working now, apart from Keisha, who is studying at the moment," she says. "I suppose it goes to prove that making it through to that final round can only be a positive thing."

The Nancy contestants remain close friends and go and support each other's shows. They went en masse to see Jodie's opening night – "She was amazing!" said Francesca – and also her understudy, Sarah, who appeared on the show.

Despite the viewers' feelings that I'd Do Anything was an open contest, Francesca had a feeling Jodie might be odds-on favourite.

"Halfway through, I thought, 'Jodie's going to win it. She's got everything you'd expect in a Nancy'," she says.

Francesca, the fourth to be voted off, brands herself the "young, naive-looking Nancy".

That may have been true at the time but it's certainly anything but the case in her latest on-stage incarnation in Dreamboats and Petticoats, which arrives at Nottingham's Theatre Royal next week.

The show is based on the music of a 1950s compilation album which proved a surprise chart hit two years ago. It is scripted by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran – the partnership behind TV comedies Goodnight Sweetheart and Birds of a Feather – and produced by Bill Kenwright. It has been running as a successful West End production since July.

"My character is the kind of ... what's the nice word for it?... the more tarty girl who wants to be the one everybody fancies," explains Francesca. "She dresses provocatively in little pencil skirts and busty tops. There's a lot of chest on display!"

The show contains around 40 songs from the '50s and '60s, including Great Pretender, Only Sixteen and Let's Twist Again.

Since Francesca's character is aptly named Sue and one of her love interests is called Bobby, it means there's plenty of name-dropping going on in the singing too.

"I'm Runaround Sue and also the Little Town Flirt – another character wants to be Bobby's Girl," explains Francesca.

Sue's rival for Bobby's affections is Teenager In Love, Laura. Eventually all the love tangles are resolved and the cast come together in the only original composition, Dreamboats and Petticoats (a Jason Donovan hit last year).

"Some of the songs are just sung in snippets but the audience love it," confirms Francesca. "When Laura sings Teenager In Love you can hardly hear her because the audience are singing along so loudly. It's brilliant."

Dreamboats and Petticoats is at the Theatre Royal from Monday to Saturday. Tickets are priced from £11. Tel: 0115 989 5555.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Belfast Fan Review

Dreamboats and Petticoats Is in Belfast this week, and this gave those in Northern Ireland a chance to see Fran perform, David who runs Rachel's Wonderful Blog went to see the show last night and has been kind enough to send us his review of the show.
Our 'Dreamboats and Petticoats' tickets were purchased some time ago as a birthday treat for my daughter -- when I heard subsequently that Fran would be in the cast, it was a massive bonus.
All I knew of the show was that it featured myriad musical numbers from the 50s and 60s and although this was before my time, I was surprised just how many I recognised.
 'Dreamboats' is basically a parade of feelgood songs linked together by a heart-warming plot. Rose-tinted nostalgia is the order of the day -- the female leads are Laura, Donna and Sue, handy for slipping in a few name-checking songs no?
 Fran plays the part of the vampish Sue, the girl with a reputation who deep down just wants to be loved. I'm not exaggerating in any way when I say that she stole the show.
 Whilst Sue is onstage in most acts, she only has one solo and a couple of duets, my personal favourite being 'Shakin' All Over'. It's a demanding role and having only seen Fran on IDA, I really had no idea what to expect.
 All I'm going to say is that certain TV shows can become more of a popularity than a talent contest. And Fran has talent in spades. You'd have sworn she'd been in this part for years.
 She is the complete package -- a superb dancer, an actor with boundless enthusiasm who injected tremendous fun into the part and above all an astonishingly soulful voice that deserves to be heard much more than it was tonight.
 'Dreamboats' is a slick, highly enjoyable show with a really great cast. I'd recommend it to anyone with even a passing love of the rock & roll years, but I'd particularly recommend it if a certain Fran Jackson is in the cast. She was fantastic tonight and on the basis of this showing I've absolutely no doubt she would have made an excellent Nancy.
 Go and see 'Dreamboats' and judge for yourself.

Thanks for a wonderful review David and were all glad you enjoyed the show lets hope you get to see Fran perform in more shows in the future.  

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Belfast Review - The Ulster Star

Dreamboats and Petticoats takes Belfast back to the swinging sixties

Published Date:
29 September 2009
By Stacey Heaney

COME on everybody! Belfast went back to the swinging sixties last night (Monday) as Dreamboats and Petticoats began its run in the Grand Opera House.
Going back to the golden era of music, when British teens were influenced by the Rock 'n' Roll produced by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly and when Billy Fury was sending people Halfway to Paradise, Dreamboats and Petticoats combines music and comedy to produce one of the best shows around.

The cast of Dreamboats and Petticoats take the audience back to the swinging sixties at the Grand Opera House.

Filled with hit after hit played and sung live on stage, which had the audience singing and clapping along, Dreamboats and Petticoats was full of genuinely laugh-out-loud moments and the sweetness of youth when being in a 'group' and falling in love were all that mattered.

Beginning in a dusty attic, we find an older Bobby (Peter Gerald) and his granddaughter going through long forgotten belongings, when Bobby finds his precious Fender electric guitar and we learn of his fifteen minutes of fame when he was the lead singer in a group.

Stepping back into 1961, we see a younger Bobby (Josh Capper) belting out Let's Dance as he auditions at St. Mungo's Church of England Youth Club for a place in the group. His fifteen minutes of fame are soon over however, when he is quickly upstaged by the older, brasher Norman (Jonathan Bremner) who takes over the group, quickly renamed Norman and the Conquests, with his performance of The Wanderer.

Bobby and Norman are soon competing again, however, as Norman sets his sights on Sue (Francesca Jackson), the girl of Bobby's dreams. And when a songwriting competition is announced Bobby teams up with Laura (Lauren Hood), the little sister of his best friend Ray (Wayne Smith), to win the dream prize and capture Sue's heart.

However, his plan quickly changes as he develops feelings for Laura along the way, and young Bobby agonises over just how to tell Laura he loves her.

Written by Marks and Gran, the team behind Goodnight Sweetheart and Birds Of A Feather, plenty of laughs were guaranteed, and Josh Capper, who graduated from Liverpool Theatre School in 2006 receiving the award for Most Promising Graduate, delivered not only a stunning vocal performance but he showed a fine acting talent, shining as the likeable Bobby.

Each member of the talented cast delivered fantastic performances, with Lauren Hood (Carousel), Wayne Smith (Grease is the Word), Francesca Jackson (I'd Do Anything), Jonathan Bremner (X Factor) and the members of the Conquests, many of whom starred in the Buddy Holly Story, delivering wonderful vocal performances and showing their superb musical ability.

With hits such as Bobby's Girl, Runaway, It's Only Make Believe, Do You Wanna Dance?, Dream Lover, Only The Lonely, Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen and Dreamboats and Petticoats, written by Jason Donovan, Dreamboats and Petticoats is a show not to be missed. Feel-good and toe-tapping, it is perfect for the whole family and you'll come out of the theatre wanting to sing and dance the night away.

Dreamboats and Petticoats continues at the Grand Opera House until Saturday (October 3). For further information please visit www.goh.co.uk.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Coventry - Dreamboats and Petticoats Review

Well I decided that it wouldn't be right to go through the first week of Frans new tour without a Fan review which found me dragging myself on a 3 hr Journey to Coventry on Friday for you all..... Well that's the excuse I intend to use anyway.

For those of you who don't know what the show is about in very broad terms so as not to give anything away; Old Bobby telling his granddaughter about his youth and the story of Girl Loves Boy who thinks He loves another Girl who in fact loves someone else, you can imagine the many places this story is sure to go.....Set in a Youth club with its own band, a day trip to Southend and a song writing competition.

I arrived in Coventry around 6:15 and following a little wonder to stretch the legs went into the theatre to grab a cup of coffee as not knowing the area and not wanting to get lost......

As I made my way to the only empty table who should I spy in the corner but Fran, who wasted no time in coming over to say hello.

Fran proceeded to tell me how much of a week it had been, the show had only been fully cast a fortnight beforehand, the main characters not being cast until then were the leading men, making rehearsals difficult, this resulted in only 6 days of full rehearsals and the Opening Night on Monday was also there dress rehearsal things had been that tight. They were unaware they were being reviewed on Monday and frankly by the sound of things it had been so hectic they wouldn't have needed the added pressure of knowing. It also makes the review in the Coventry Telegraph more glowing when you take these circumstances into account.

Fran and I then arranged to meet after the show and she went off to get ready. The audience had a right mix of ages and I believe the show really appealed to everyone there.

The show starts and the energy starts, the cast all incredibly talented were full of energy there are some great songs and some great performances Fran as always shines brightly and the difference with this production is that most of the cast are on stage throughout the show whether they are actively involved in the current piece going on or there in the background.

Fran of course is playing Sue the youth clubs "top tottie" I suppose is the only way to describe her character its a great piece really over the top and Fran plays it to perfection as you would expect her to. Her real shining glory number is deep in the second act with "You Don't Know" which I would be surprised if you don't get shivers listening to.

The whole show is up beat and you get to see Fran doing a lot of 'dancing' in this role, of course this is in tune with the whole setting of the show and the dance routines I believe are true to the period but I can not guarantee this for you.

Norman played by Ex-X-factor contestant Jonathan Bremner with his bold as brass everybody loves me act banters well with Fran and the two pull of a very convincing act as a pair.

And Donna Sue's best friend is played by Clare Ivory who's vocals beautifully compliment Frans.

Then there's Laura played by Lauren Hood who's character is as quiet as Frans Sue is bold, is beautifully played with some wonderful vocals.

Well before the end of the show the audience are all up dancing and clapping there way through the last 2 songs.

Although Fran doesn't have many solos in the show there are a lot of great company numbers which allow her to show of her powerful voice.

Whilst there I was speaking to other members of the audience, well you have to when your on your own, and everyone asked me to pass on there thanks for a wonderful show, however the best compliment for Fran which I had delight in passing on was from someone who had seen the production with the previous cast already but felt that the Sue in this production was much better, and this comment was made before the person knew I knew Fran.

After the show I went out to see Fran and pass on mine and many other members of the audiences congratulations on the show it was well worth the long trip. I asked her which show she preferred and before I even had the question out my mouth she was telling me it was this one she said "......it's such a fun role to play as it's just so out there.....".

All that was left now was the 3 hour journey home.

Anyway I hope that hasn't bored you or put you off going to see the show. I'm sure that as the tour goes on the show will continue to gain momentum and can only get better as the cast settle further into their roles.

A final note - trying to get reviews or at least pictures from the whole tour however with the locations and where my sources are bassed this is proving more tricky than I anticipated, locations covered so far are Belfast, Stoke, Bromley and possibly Nottingham anyone going to see the show please let us have your thoughts and copies of any pictures whether its at the lease locations or more especially at any of the other locations.


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

First Review of The New Tour

Below is a link to the first review of the tour

A reasonable review but my favourite paragraph is below;

Francesca Jackson, a finalist in the BBC’s I’d Do Anything, captures the era in her role as the vampish Sue and is given plenty of opportunities to show off her powerful voice.

Looking good for those going to see the production

Friday, 11 September 2009

Dreamboats And Petticoats Full Cast List


In order of appearance

Older Bobby/Phil Peter Gerald
Daisy/Brenda Bethany Compson-Bradford
Andy Mark Stanford
Richard Oliver Seymour Marsh
Colin Christopher Redmond
Barry Daniel Graham
Derek David Botham
Bobby Josh Capper
Ray Wayne Smith
Laura Lauren Hood
Sue Francesca Jackson
Donna Clare Ivory
Norman Jonathan Bremner
Frank Matthew Woodyatt
Eric Glen Joseph
Jeremy Michael Paver
Babs Lauren Storer

Other characters played by members of the Company

Monday, 31 August 2009

Breaking News !!!

Fran has confirmed that she has accepted a new touring role. As of tomorrow She starts work on preparing for the role of Sue in the No1 UK Autumn tour of Dreamboats And Petticoats.

The tour kicks of in Coventry on 14th September, and runs until 5th December.


Inspired by the smash hit million selling albums DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS ONE, TWO and THREE, comes the sell out sensationDREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS THE MUSICAL, direct from the Savoy Theatre in London's West End, featuring some of the greatest hit songs of the Rock 'n' Roll era.

Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the team behind Goodnight Sweetheart, Birds of a Feather, The New Statesmen and Shine On Harvey Moon, this new feel-good musical production will give you 'the greatest time of your life', taking you back to a time when each passing week brought another classic track.

In 1961 emotions run high as young musicians Norman and Bobby compete to win a national song writing competition – and, more importantly, the attention of the gorgeous Sue! But when Bobby discovers that shy Laura is no slouch on the piano, love and rock 'n' roll fame beckons...

Featuring classic tracks from Roy Orbison, The Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury, and many more, including Let's Dance, To Know Him Is To Love Him, Shaking All Over, Bobby's Girl, Three Steps To Heaven, Little Town Flirt, Only Sixteen, Runaround Sue, Happy Birthday Sweet 16, Let It Be Me, Great Pretender, C'mon Everybody, Let's Twist Again and many more hits from music's golden era!

Check out the link below for further tour details, pictures from West End and booking tickets.

Remember anyone going to see this reviews and fan pics always wanted.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Ponty's Big Weekend

We have managed to obtain some wonderful pictures of Fran performing at the Ponty's Big Weekend last month. Enjoy.....

Monday, 3 August 2009

Happy First Birthday

Well Frans Blog is 1 year old today and boy has Fran been busy this year,

Concerts in Wales,
A UK tour of Can't Smile Without You,
Recording a TV Pilot,
Backing Singing for Sam Taylor,
Rehearsed Readings,
Landing a role in the Paris run of A Little Night Music .

I'm sure this next year will be just as eventful if not more so lets keep the support going.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Calling All Fans in the South Wales Area

Sorry I know this is really Short Notice guys but only just received this info;

Fran has Just confirmed that she will be performing at the following event tomorrow,

Thats Sunday 19th July

Ponty's Big Weekend
Ynysangharad War Memorial Park
South Wales

Other Performers include All Men Allowed, John Owen Jones, and Sian Cothi.

All those that can make it be sure to go along and show Fran your support.

Thanks Guys

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Article about A Little Night Music Paris

Theater News
Kristin Scott Thomas, Leslie Caron, Lambert Wilson, et al. to Star in Paris A Little Night Music
By: Brian Scott Lipton · Jul 6, 2009 · New York

Kristin Scott Thomas will play Desiree Armfeldt, Leslie Caron will play Madame Armfeldt, and Lambert Wilson will play Frederik Egerman in Jonathan Stockhammer's production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music, to play Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet February 15-20, 2010, according to the theater's website.

The cast will also feature David Curry as Henrik Egerman, Rebecca Bottone as Anne Egerman, Francesca Jackson as Petra, Nicholas Garrett as Count Carl-Magnus Malclom, Deanne Meek as Countess Charlotte Malcolm, Celeste de Veazey as Fredrika Armfeldt, Damian Thantrey as Mr. Lindquist, Kate Valentine as Mrs. Nordstrom, James Edwards as Mr. Erlanson, and Daphné Touchais as Mrs. Segstrom.

The musical, which .is inspired by Ingmar Bergman's film Smiles of a Summer Night, debuted on Broadway in 1973, and is scheduled to be revived on the Great White Way this season by Trevor Nunn. His current production of the show is playing at London's Garrick Theatre through July 25.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Exciting News

Hi All

I have just received some great news from Fran. She has been a very busy lady recently, long may it continue.

Not only was she preparing for what I have heard were two great concerts on Sunday she has also been recording a new pilot for TV with Leon Lopez one of her fabulous Rent co stars and Hollyoaks In The City fame.

Here are a few photos from filming

Now girls who wouldn't give anything to be Fran in this Shot?

Fran Has also been rewarded with the role of Petra in the Paris (yes I said Paris) run of A Little Night Music in February 2010 alongside Kristen Scott Thomas who will be playing Desiree, other cast members;
Anne Egerman - Rebecca Bottone
Fredrik Egerman - Lambert Wilson
Count Carl-Magnus - Malcom Nicholas Garrett
Contess Charlotte Malcom - Deanne Meek
Fredrika Armfeldt - Celeste de Veazey
Madame Armfeldt - Leslie Caron
Mr Lindquist - Damian Thantrey
Ms Nordstrom - Kate Valentine
Mr Erlanson - James Edwards
Ms Segstrom - Daphné Touchais

Below is a translated version of the article published in "sortiraparis"

English actress Kristin Scott Thomas will join next season, the programming of the Théâtre du Châtelet with A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim.
Kristin Scott Thomas is incredible. It is one of the few actresses to pursue a career both in film and theater, one day triumph on Broadway for the next day be acclaimed in London and eventually to be ovationnée Paris. While the star is currently on view of dream wedding to the film and it stands on the boards of Broadway role in The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, we have to learn the future of the current Parisian actress.
Next spring, the Théâtre du Châtelet present A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim, music in which Kristin Scott Thomas is glad to share the stage with Lambert Wilson, Leslie Caron, David Curry, Rebecca Bottone, Francesca Jackson, Nicholas Garrett, Deanne Meek, Celeste of Veazey, Damian Thantrey, Kate Valentine, James Edwards and soprano Daphne Touchais.
, Directed by Lee Blakeley, under the musical direction by Jonathan Stockhammer, this production will be fully interpreted in English but will be considered as an opera, therefore too many problems on the horizon for those who have difficulty with the language of Shakespeare.
This multi-musical award in the United States and England is directly inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film and we dove into the love lives of several couples in Sweden.
We bet that once again the only reason why Kristin Scott Thomas will have nothing to be ashamed to do with his artistic choices, but will instead be caused by the applause of the Parisian public.

For those of you who don't know the story to A Little Night Music check out the link below.

So Congratulations Must go to Fran on this great opportunity and good luck with the TV Pilot which I'm sure will be a great success.

As I get more news on both of the above I will let you know. Also we will shortly be receiving a few Fan reviews from the Shrewsbury Concerts so keep checking in.


A Little Night Music