Dreamboats and Miniskirts is a bit like one of those straight-to-video sequels you could barely remember the original of.
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And this follow-up to 2009’s Dreamboats and Petticoats (itself a shallow, light-hearted and largely forgettable show) is the jukebox musical equivalent. Imagine a Pleasantville interpretation of the Swinging Sixties – plastic and squeaky-clean – and you’ll get the drift.
If you didn’t see the original, however, worry not.
Having scored an unlikely pop hit during the first production, the show’s sweet, loving young couple, Bobby and Laura, are experiencing creative tensions over their newly-discovered music career. Bobby wants to go one way, Laura the other. Then there’s the other couple who featured in the first – Norman and Sue: now living together and with a baby on the way, Norman reluctantly leaves his home comforts to join up with Bobby to start a new band. What could go wrong?
Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, you get the feeling they put this together in as long as it takes to make a compilation of your favourite Sixties pop-tunes. Fortunately, that’s as long as it lasts, too. But then, it’s not really about the story – it’s about the songs. Featuring a plethora of well-known and not so well-known ditties circa 1962/ 1963, it’s pure, unadulterated music nostalgia, which wouldn’t be so bad an experience if the band playing them put more feel and soul into it.
The actors, however, are brilliant. Ross William Wild has Elvis-levels of charisma as the sexy, suave Norman; Alan Howell’s scenes as both John Lennon and a sleazy producer are most welcome; and Elizabeth Carter is sugar and spice perfected as likeable Laura.
Despite these few gems, though, Dreamboats and Miniskirts remains a low-grade jukebox musical that only fans of Sixties music will see some merit in.
• Run ends Saturday.