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Dreamboats and Petticoats: Bringing On Back The Good Times - Nottingham Review

Nostalgic-filled fun rocks into Nottingham's Theatre Royal as Dreamboats and Petticoats third installment titled 'Bringing On Back The Good Times' hits the stage.

The Cast of Dreamboats & Petticoats. Photo By Jack Merriman.

Dreamboats and Petticoats began life as an album that sold over a million copies and now three stage adaptations in and the series seems only to be going from strength to strength. 

The show may serve as pure nostalgia for a large amount of the audience but it's also great to see a mix of younger faces too. At 30 years old I barely recognised half of the songs but for me, there's great joy in watching people connect or re-connect with a song, clap along, dance in their seats and enjoying a sound from yesteryear. 

The third chapter does follow the same characters as the previous two but if, like me, you come in blind then 'Bringing On Back The Good Times' works as a standalone show too so you don't require any prior knowledge of these characters. Laurance Marks and Maurice Gran's book is paper-thin but brilliantly weaves in over 30 songs from the 60s. Undoubtedly the music feels like the star, it's certainly the mold that holds the show together. There's something very old school about the whole thing, simple family humour with the odd innuendo thrown in. The whole thing reminded me of the classic Cliff Richard film 'Summer Holiday'.

The story sees characters Bobby, Laura, Norman, Sue and the gang all returning as the central pairing Bobby and Laura are sent to different locations for the summer season, we follow the journey of both, with Bobby and his bandmates at Butlins in Bognor Regis and Laura in Torquay. Ultimately, spoiler alert, the pair end up back in each other's arms and towards an appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest! 

Making his first performance was the outstanding Jacob Fowler as Bobby. Fowler has a voice that is destined for stardom and brought great confidence and charm to the leading role. Fowler is magnificently paired with the delightful Elizabeth Carter as Laura. Carter is a sweet presence and oozes warmth and a big voice. 

Elizabeth Carter as Laura. Photo By Jack Merriman.

Also making his debut was Joseph Lukehurst who joined the production as Norman. He does a great job as the lead member of the band 'Norman and The Conquests', especially when he's outcast by the others. Lauren Anderson-Oakley's Sue is wonderfully self-assured, Anderson-Oakley crafts a superb performance as a strong independent woman and has a stand-out solo of 'You Don't Own Me' towards the latter end of act one. 

David Luke is fantastic as Ray, he has a cracking voice too. Samara Clarke is a skillful singer and dancer and impresses with both. Star of the 60s Mark Wynter captures the ambitious Larry well and his voice is as strong as ever especially as he gets his own medley towards the end of the show. 

Pre-show there's a reminder that all the music in the show is played live and the on-stage band are stunning. Under musical director Sheridan Lloyd the actor-musicians all make a rollicking sound and you can't help but tap your feet along. 

The design is fairly simple, Sean Cavanagh's backdrop sees images of albums of the time with the use of props or signs that root you in certain locations. Chris Whybrow's clear sound design lets the music sing loud and proudly and lighting Nick Richings further embeds the uplifting feel of the production.

'Bringing On Back The Good Times' may be the subtitle and it's certainly achieved here. Nostalgic big fun.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Dreamboats and Petticoats: Bringing On Back The Good Times continues at Nottingham's Theatre Royal until Saturday 25th June 2022 and the production tours throughout the summer. Dates and tickets are available

The Cast of Dreamboats & Petticoats. Photo By Jack Merriman

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