Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Dreamboats & Petticoats - Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield

Dreaamboats & Petticoats
Director: Bob Tomson
Reviewer: Sarah Lyth

Billed as ‘The Greatest Days of Your Life!’ the team of Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran have written a musical that promises to rock and roll away the icy nights of Sheffield during its stay. Dreamboats and Petticoats bounces along with all the energy, passion and verve of the Rock ‘n’ Roll era and flounces through Sheffield on its jaunt direct from the Savoy Theatre in the West End.

Set in 1961, the action takes place in a youth theatre full of dreamers, singers and wannabe lovers. The heartthrob Norman breaks the heart of our Bobby as he whisks away his beautiful pin-up Sue as the boys compete for another prize...the fame that would come from winning a national song writing competition. Little does Bobby know but it is the quiet Laura who, along with her piano, who will take his music and his heart to the heights he is aiming for.

The colour, glitz and glittering lights echoed the rhythm and energy of the classic rock ‘n’ roll hits as the tunes weaved their wave through the believable narrative. From the very first song the audience were clapping and singing along, laughing and gasping and feeling the heartache in turn as the young dreamers created their music and dance on stage.

As Bobby, Josh Capper captured the aching of young people who fall in love, yearn to be free and capture their dreams. Peter Gerald used a heady mix of comedy and older wisdom to portray a father and a grandfather with many a story to tell. Clare Ivory’s Donna stood out as one of the performance’s stars who, along with Wayne Smith’s Ray, provided a depth and an edge to the story that made it all the more believable.

The musicians were in a class of their own, mixing powerful performances on the instruments with clever staging to impact the audience with the visual brilliance of the scene as well as with the immensely energetic sound. It seemed that as the visuals and the sounds were entwined, so the story and the hearts of the audience were caught up in the golden sumptuousness of the production. Every toe was tapping and every hip was shaking by the end!

This was a bright and warm production that left the audience dancing, smiling and singing their way out of the Lyceum, aware that they had experienced a truly classic treat.

runs until Saturday 5th Dec
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