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

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 "'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