‘Dreamboats and Petticoats: Bringing On Back The Good Times’ (Glasgow King’s Theatre) | Review By Rebecca Donati

Dreamboats and Petticoats are certainly bringing on back the good times in Glasgow this week. Bobby, Laura, Norman, Sue & the gang get back together for the follow-on musical inspired by the hit albums. This west end sell out will have you on your feet rocking and rolling. The sixties were well and truly alive, an innocence floated in the air as the audience were taken back to simpler times. The young, energetic cast drove a wonderfully fun atmosphere which filled the audience with enthusiasm – allowing them to relax and setting them up for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Bringing On Back The Good Times features the original characters from Dreamboats and Petticoats and features the same wit, charm, and songs from the golden era of Rock’n’ Roll.

Inspired by the smash hit, multimillion selling Dreamboats and Petticoats albums, this musical features some of the greatest hits of all time and are guaranteed to have you reminiscing and singing out loud!

Elizabeth Carter’s portrayal of Laura was wonderfully sweet, she struck the balance of vulnerability and hardcore chick very well. She was a very relatable character and her characterisation of Laura resonated with me. Her voice was beautiful, she stands out throughout the show within the intricate harmonies between her and Bobby. 

Jacob Fowler’s vocal ability is an absolute stand out of the show, he shows fantastic range and vocal flexibility. He sustains his energy throughout the performance. From the minute he enters on stage he looks like he is having a brilliant time which encourages the audience to join him. Mark Wynter was a true superstar. His natural charisma and presence was welcomed by audiences. He captured the era brilliantly. A true performer. His vocal ability was unquestionably superb. His physicality and energy was beyond impressive.

David Benson’s stand out character without a doubt was his wonderful depiction of Kenneth Williams during Eurovision performing ‘Ma Crepe Suzette’. Benson nailed the gestures and flamboyant personality of Williams achieving the largest applause of the night with this performance. He did well to distinguish between his characters. 

Joseph Lukehurst as Norman was the charming, bad boy turned good. The man that the women in theatre and film long to “fix”. His energy during his performances at the St. Mungos Youth Club and Butlins was rock your socks off brilliant. 

Lauren Anderson-Oakley impressed the audience with her vocal ability. She played a more rebellious young woman which was an interesting character choice allowing her to stand out among the crowd. Samara Clarke as Donna was the strongest dancer on the stage technically and a delight to watch throughout the musical numbers.

David Luke as Ray had wonderful charisma and stage presence. The chemistry between him and his counterpart Donna was beautiful. They appeared to be having a lot of fun as their characters and as performers which was a joy to watch. The supporting cast who doubled as the band all ensured to carry the performance with the utmost class and professionalism. They invited the audience to jam with them. The band are a real credit to this performance and the key to the intimacy of it all. 

Bill Kenwright and Carole Todd have done a great job at keeping the production simplistic and stripped back. The production under their direction has an air of sweetness and innocence which stands out. The staging was brilliant and they actors filled the large King’s theatre stage even in their most intimate moments. I would like for the actors to interact more with the musicians but other than that it was wonderfully directed. The writing of the dialogue is the only thing that could improve this, although the production is driven more by the music than the story I think this production has more potential and that tweaks to the comedy and a more in depth story would allow the production to breathe. 

The costumes and set both brought us into the era with beehives and Butlins redcoats. The set has an outline of nostalgia with posters for Carry On Teacher, Buddy Holly and the Crickets among many other famous eye catching timepiece posters. The costumes all heightened the personalities of the gang and allowed them to lean into the characters more.

Keith Strachan and Sherdian Lloyd have done a wonderful job with the musical direction and production of this musical. The music really carries the show. The harmonies and simplicity of the vocal arrangements lent into the period the show was set in. The band were allowed to have a lot of fun from playing slow jams to rock and roll house favourites.

Carole Todd and Chloe Edwards-Wood kept the choreography intricate whilst looking brilliantly simple. The choreography really leaned into a simplicity which made you feel like the dancers were not even trying. I loved this type of choreography as it felt energetic and fun whilst seemingly manageable – you wanted to join in. Adding some intricate footwork and lifts allowed the choreography to remain interesting and non-repetitive. 

‘Dreamboats & Petticoats: Bringing On Back The Good Times’ is a real feel good production. Bringing us back to a simpler time in swinging sixties fashion. They will have you on your feet and you are guaranteed to walk out of the theatre feeling better than you did walking in.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Get tickets for ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats: Bringing On Back The Good Times’ at The King’s Theatre Glasgow: