The mood was building in The Gaiety before the curtain was raised thanks to the sounds of early sixties music. With a musical that was born from a musical compilation series, Dreamboats and Petticoats immediately had the audience on its side, thanks to the familiarity of the tunes.
Within moments of the cast coming on stage, the energy and talent that oozed from the stage was nothing short of brilliant.
Telling the story of Bobby’s (David Ribi) quest to get the band and the girl over his competitor Norman (Ben James-Ellis), Dreamboats and Petticoats shows us a slightly more innocent time The story-line and songs performed, all live on stage by the actors, intertwine seamlessly and the clever set design truly places you in early sixties. A screen with early sixties adverts is raised and lowered to reveal a full band. I never thought I’d see dodgems (or good ole bumping cars like we called them) on stage at The Gaiety.
All cast members play an instrument at some stage during the musical and the sound they produce is huge! Drums, keys, electric and acoustic guitars, saxophones and trumpets come together to turn this into a full on rock show.
There’s so much talent on this stage, there isn’t one weak link. Ben Ellis-James may be familiar with viewers of ‘Any Dream Will Do’, (he was a finalist) and his cocky rock vocals fill the auditorium. David Ribi brilliantly portrays the nerdy Bobby and his vocal range is quite amazing.
The ladies on the stage, Sam Dorrance who plays Laura and Katie Birtill who plays Sue, never let the guys take all the spotlight and when its their turn, show they’ve got it too.
There’s nothing to fault at all about this production, the writing is funny, direction is great (watch for the slow motion fight) and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be walking down the street afterwards singing ‘At The Hop’.
‘Feel Good’ is an overused term, Dreamboats and Petticoats will appeal to people of all ages, music lovers, theatre lovers and those who want a great night out. This was London’s West End brought to us for a few hours. This was simply amazing.