Following the success of Dreamboats and Petticoats, writers Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran (Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart) have produced another jukebox musical hit from the golden era of the early 60s.
Produced by Bill Kenwright, we follow two sisters Jennifer and Marie on their first seaside holiday without their folks to “sunny” Lowestoft during the summer of 1963…
Played by 2014 X-Factor Finalist Lola Saunders, Jennifer is tasked with keeping her younger more educated sister Marie (Elizabeth Carter) out of trouble. Despite this being Lola’s stage debut she sang, danced and acted as well as the rest of the cast and I can see her being on the stage for many years to come.
Both girls performed some great numbers either together, individually or as part of the company including “Rhythm of the Rain,” “Be My Baby,” “Please Mr Postman” and the one that got the crowd joining in “Teenager In Love.”
Also in Lowestoft that summer was the US Air Force who were out looking for different British girls to dance the nights away with each week. The cheeky charm of Milton (played by Antony Costa of boyband Blue,) convinced the sisters that Elvis would be appearing at their base that night and that they should come along.
The Air Force base had their own band – The Airmen, and lead singer Curtis fell instantly for Marie, but it was not all plain sailing for the love struck pair. And although there is initial attraction between Jennifer and Milton, her heart is set on “Italian” ice cream seller Carlo from Wolverhampton.
The role of Milton was perfect for Antony, his voice suits this style of music belting out hits like “Viva Las Vegas” and “Tell Her” – his American accent wasn’t bad either and he used his boyband experience to get the crowd on their feet at the end.
For me the stand out performer of the evening was Wayne Robinson as Curtis. Powerful acting and a faultless voice on numbers such as “She’s Not You,” “His Latest Flame” and “Can’t Get Used To Losing You” – if an actor can draw you in and make you believe what is happening is real in a light hearted show like this, they deserve high praise and the lady next to me shed a tear at the end (OK it was me.)
All the cast were fabulous – singing, dancing, acting and playing instruments is not easy and they all made it look effortless, additional shout outs to:
Alan Howell (Carlo) loved the rendition of “Hushabye”
Great comedy role from Anna Campkin (as Doris – also played Della)
Smooth vocals by Sackie Osakonor (Rufus) especially “Turn Me Loose”
Some brilliant laugh out loud comedy and a love story or two mixed with an excellent live band and the perfect soundtrack that has you up out your seat at the end. If you love Elvis, the 60s or some good old British seaside humour this is the show for you.
Great pick me up any day of the week; I wish I had the Airmen to sing my troubles away every day!
Good: The band, the songs
Average: The set
Save The Last Dance For Me, Theatre Royal Nottingham until 27th August