Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Article from The Denbigh Visitor

Dreamboats and Petticoats comes to Rhyl
Jul 28 2010 by Ian Hughes, Denbigh Visitor

AS auditions go, there are some that will open up a few more doors than others. TV show I’d Do Anything falls among these.

“It was definitely a very good decision,” says former contestant Francesca Jackson.

Since leaving the show she has spent two years in the employment of musical theatre impresario Bill Kenwright.

“It was the first call I received after I left,” she remembers. “I went for an audition, sat with him at his piano and it went on from there.”

Francesca is now appearing in a UK-wide tour of the hit musical Dreamboats and Petticoats. It shows at Rhyl Pavilion September 13-18.

Being inundated with job offers after a stint on TV is far from out of the ordinary.

She explains: “The musical theatre TV talent shows act as a talent pool. The only ones I know from the show not working in theatre are the ones that decided to go into training.”

The success rate when compared to X-Factor or Pop Idol is unprecedented but, according to Francesca, not that unusual.

“On X-Factor you’re chasing a recording contract, for I’d Do Anything you’re just after the chance to be part of musical theatre.

“It’s not about being a celebrity it’s just about wanting to be part of it.”

She adds: “I had worked in theatre before in Tonight’s the Night and Rent and decided that it’s definitely what I wanted to do. People enter pop TV shows almost on a whim, I suppose.”

Prior to appearing on the show, Francesca already had friends in high places.

It was the winner of 2006’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, Connie Fisher, who introduced her to the idea. While appearing in Rent, cast member Denise Van Outen also pointed her in the direction of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s TV talent academy which according to Francesca is “the biggest and best audition you can possibly do”.

Dreamboats and Petticoats was inspired by the million selling album of the same name.

“The album was used to create a very funny script.

“It’s set in the 50s and follows four kids at a youth club as they enter a singing competition.”

Francesca adds: “There are two new songs and the rest are classics – the storyline is entwined with the music.

“I didn’t realise how many of them I knew but the old numbers definitely get an audience reaction – sometimes they sing louder than we do! I like that because you know they’re enjoying it.”

She jokes: “It’s very lively compared to other stuff I’ve done – it’s been a good way to lose weight!”

Dreamboats and Petticoats is at Rhyl Pavilion September 13-18. Call 01745 330 000 for more information.

Sunday, 25 July 2010


Well I knew it wouldn't be long before our favourite performer had some news for us. Fran is to take her role as the feisty Sue back on the Autumn tour of Dreamboats and Petticoats.

For those who have not yet managed to see this show it is a real must and for anyone going please forward your reviews/thoughts on the shows and any pictures.

Congratulations to Fran for this latest work we will all be looking forward to your performances as and where we get to see them.

She will be reunited with Jonathan Bremner as Norman, Josh Capper as Bobby and Wayne Smith as Ray.

Thanks must go to David Preece the No Sound Engineer for the most up to date cast list.

David Preece - Dreamboats Cast List

The tour kicks off in Windsor on 3rd August.

New Autumn Tour Dates 2010
2 August - 14 August Theatre Royal Windsor (Two Weeks)
16 August - 21 August Orchard Theatre Dartford
23 August - 4 Sept Opera House Belfast (Two Weeks)
6 Sept - 11 Sept Everyman Theater Cheltenham
13 Sept - 18 Sept Pavilion Theatre Rhyl
20 Sept - 25 Sept New Theatre Hull
27 Sept - 2 Oct Charter Theatre Preston
4 Oct - 9 Oct Congress Theatre Eastbourne
11 Oct - 16 Oct Cliffs Pavilion Southend
18 Oct - 23 Oct Princess Theatre Torquay
25 Oct - 30 Oct Severn Theatre Shrewsbury
1 Nov - 6 Nov TBC
8 Nov - 13 Nov Grand Opera House York
15 Nov - 20 Nov Alhambra Theatre Bradford
22 Nov - 27 Nov Derngate Theater Northampton

Some of the Autumn dates are not currently showing up on theatre websites...

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Current West End Dreamboats & Petticoats Say Goodbye

Sorry it's been a while but as they say sometimes no news is good news...... and While Fran has been busy on the West End I have been busy myself so busy that Last night was the first chance I had to go and See Fran perform.

I had booked the tickets for last night a month or so ago knowing that it was potentially the last night as Fran had told me that was the date that her original contract ran to. I had seen her briefly 2 weeks ago and she was still unsure as to whether or not this would be her last night so it was a night of real anticipation.

After a very hectic day having been up since 5am due to my own Charity fundraising commitments taking place in Royal Victoria Docks that morning I eventually arrived at the theatre very tired and very hot.....with only 10 mins before the start of the show, with family and friends in tow.

We had amazing seats row G smack bang in the centre of the stage, and the show was incredible all the cast were amazing Daisy Wood-Davis who has been Playing Laura from the original tour was sensational as was Fran of course, to be honest you couldn't single out a bad performance from anyone, especially not one of the saxaphone players who managed to sit play the sax be aware of everything going on around her and still play her game of solitaire all at the same time (no joke I swear).

By the end of the show nearly all the theatre were up and dancing along and by this point I new Fran had seen me from a look she gave me which was great as it would mean I would be sure to see her after the show.

Was able to get out the side door and be at stage door within a few minutes of the show ending and waited to see Fran. In doing so discovered that it had been the last night for several of the cast members so was all the more eager to talk to Fran and find out what was going on.

Fran eventually came out and was as lovely as ever and confirmed that it was the last night for all the main roles bar 2 including herself. So we were both pleased that I had finally made it to see the show on the West End.

The Show itself will continue but without the amazing talents that have been performing those roles for 18month in the case of most of the cast which is a real shame but I am sure that they will all have plenty of new offers flooding in and will be filling other theatres before long.

As for what Fran will be up to next we will have to wait and see but I'm sure we will not be left wanting for long even though she is in line for a well deserved break having been working non-stop since she took on the role of the feisty Sue in the tour of Dreamboats and Petticoats last July.

All that remains now is to wish all of the departing cast the best of luck for whatever comes next and to say that if any of the following stars Daisy Wood-Davis, Scott Bruton, or Ben Freeman happen to appear in anything in a theatre near you be sure to go and see it as they will not dissapoint, and stay tuned for further Fran updates as they arrive.