7-12 April 2014
Reviewed by Heather Tilmouth
A fantastic feel good musical which is jam packed with well-known songs from the sixties which are all played and sung live on the stage!
The show opened with “Let’s Dance” and featured other favourites such as “Dream Lover”, “Teenager in Love”, “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” and “Let’s Twist Again” to name only a few. The fantastic singing, harmonies and backing vocals really brought the show and the story to life. The band were an integral part of the show and were situated on the stage. They were not only very talented musicians but they also sang, danced and acted throughout the performance.
The costumes were absolutely spot on, with the girls wearing big, floaty, circular skirts which looked amazing when the dancers moved and twirled around. The cast looked and sounded so authentic that I felt I had been transported back to the early sixties.
Set at St Mungo’s youth club in Essex it tells the story of Bobby (played by Greg Fossard), who’s a lovely, gentle seventeen year old and Norman (played by Matthew Colthart), who’s much more confident, slightly older, full of himself and a ladies man. The two young musicians are often found arguing and competing for the hearts of young women. Laura (played by Hannah Boyce), is the sister of Bobby’s best friend Ray, and assists both Norman and Bobby in writing their songs as she’s a talented musician herself. She turns sixteen during Act two and blossoms from a geeky schoolgirl with pigtails and National Health glasses, into a beautiful young woman. The fantastic feel good story has a very happy ending and a great sing along section which had the audience out of their seats, singing and dancing along with the cast. The performers were all excellent and showed great energy and enthusiasm, and Bobby, Laura and Norman were the stand out performances of the night.
The Sunderland Empire is well sign posted in the city centre and parking was easy in the Bridges car park which is only a five minute walk away. It’s a very grand old theatre but always has a lovely atmosphere and the staff are polite and friendly.
I would recommend this show to anyone as my fifteen year old daughter enjoyed it, although she didn’t know many of the songs but it was a great night’s entertainment and I would love to see it again.
Tickets cost from £21.40 to £38.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8713022.
Sunderland Empire, High Street West, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR1 3EX | 0844 8713022