REVIEW: Magnificent and heartwarming Dreamboats And Petticoats opens at The Bristol Hippodrome

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 July 2017

The cast of Dreamboats and Petticoats. Picture: Pamela Raith

The cast of Dreamboats and Petticoats. Picture: Pamela Raith

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Toe-tapping tunes and hilarious antics – what more could you want from a 1950s and 1960s show? It proved to be a brilliant evening of entertainment when Dreamboats And Petticoats opened at the Bristol Hippodrome last night (Monday).

Chloe Edwards-Wood & Alastair Norman in the Dreamboats and Petticoats tour. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography Chloe Edwards-Wood & Alastair Norman in the Dreamboats and Petticoats tour. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography

In the musical, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, emotions are running high in 1961, as young musicians Norman (played by Alastair Hill) and Bobby (played by Alistair Higgins) compete to win a national songwriting competition – and, more importantly, the attention of the gorgeous Sue (played by Laura Darton).

But when Bobby discovers shy Laura (played by Elizabeth Carter) is no slouch on the piano, love and rock ‘n’ roll fame beckons.

The show is inspired by the smash hit multi-million-selling albums Dreamboats And Petticoats One-Five and it is no surprise to see why the records were such a hit.

From start to finish the audience was transported back to the decade of rock ‘n’ roll, with top tracks including At The Hop, Let’s Twist Again, Great Pretender and Bobby’s Girl just to name a few.

Gracie Johnson, Laura Darto and Elizabeth Carter in Dreamboats And Petticoats. Credit: Pamela Raith Photography Gracie Johnson, Laura Darto and Elizabeth Carter in Dreamboats And Petticoats. Credit: Pamela Raith Photography

Each member of the cast played their part phenomenally but special mentions have to go to the leading six.

Hill played the bad boy rockstar effortlessly, with an Elvis-like flair and an impressive vocal range – hitting notes which no man should be able to reach.

Teamed with Ray (played by David Luke) the comedy duo provided the audience with a number of laughs.

Darton was joined by her partner-in-crime Donna (played by Gracie Johnson) who carried off the popular, pretty girl façade brilliantly. Their duet Sweet Nothin’s was fabulous and really showcased the two rising stars’ voices.

Alastair Hill and the cast of Dreamboats and Petticoats. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography Alastair Hill and the cast of Dreamboats and Petticoats. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography

But Darton alone stole the show in her solo rendition of You Don’t Know, which was simply breathtaking.

A musical would not be complete without the leading guy and girl and Higgins and Carter did not disappoint.

I was left with goosebumps every time Carter began to sing, and together the duo reached new heights.

Runaway/Who’s Sorry Now and Let It Be Me were both performed well but they came into their own with musical’s title song Dreamboats And Petticoats.

The live band and clever staging added to the performance as a whole as I was left wanting more.

The company was chock-a-block with talent, with dancing saxophonists, a guitarist who doubled as a comedian and a quickstepping lead.

Overall it was a joyful and heartwarming show which had everyone up on their feet for the whole of the finale.

Dreamboats And Petticoats will be at the Hippodrome, in St Augustines Parade, from today (Tuesday) until Saturday, with performances at 7.30pm each night and 2.30pm tomorrow (Wednesday) and Saturday.

Tickets, priced £17.90-41.40, are available by calling 08448 713012 or at the Hippodrome’s website.

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