Reviewed by Tricia Shaw
Dreamboats and Petticoats provided me with a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment at Milton Keynes Theatre. Set in 1961, the kids at the youth club enjoy, amongst other things, table tennis, dancing and music. They have their dreams of becoming pop stars and being in a group. A simple story of the trials and tribulations of being a teenager in love, the action is centred around a song writing competition.
In much the way that “Mamma Mia” uses Abba’s songs to tell a story, Dreamboats and Petticoats uses the songs from the cd collection of the same name. The lyrics of which have been carefully worked into the script allowing for a seamless transition between speech and song.
I loved the fact that I could see the musicians playing and that the band was fully integrated into the story. The dancing was brilliantly choreographed and the characters very well portrayed. My favourite was Laura, played by Elizabeth Carter; I was struck by her beautiful voice and characterisation. I had a few difficulties hearing the lyrics when Donna (Gracie Johnson) was singing but this did not detract too much from her performance. I also enjoyed the various comical appearances from Mike Lloyd in his many roles. Both Alistair Higgins and Alastair Hill in their roles as Bobby and Norman gave excellent performances as did Laura Darton as Sue.
The show has something to offer any generation in the audience. For the younger members, it is a show of fantastic dancing and singing. For others, there are also the innuendos and more subtle jokes. Of course, I am sure that for those who personally experienced this era, the music and dancing will have brought back plenty of memories; it certainly seemed so as the audience stood up to join in with the dancing at the end. It was a very enjoyable show and even though it was more my parents’ era I still recognised the majority of the songs and loved watching the amazing dancing and hearing the beautiful singing and playing from the many talented actors.
Milton Keynes Theatre is a modern theatre with very comfortable seats and the staff are friendly and helpful. It is situated close to the shopping centre and Xscape and within the theatre district there is ample choice of restaurants. There is a multi-storey carpark right next door to the theatre which currently offers 4 hours parking for £1.60. You have the option to pre-pay to avoid the queues at the end of the show, but be careful if you are hoping to eat first as it could leave you a bit tight for time.
Tickets cost from £17.90 to £42.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Dreamboats and Petticoats is at Milton Keynes Theatre from 3-8 July 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3NZ