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.