4 June 2016
Reviewed by Debbie Lowndes
On Saturday 4th June 2016 my daughter (age 15) and I had the pleasure of attending a review at the Regent Theatre in Stoke. Our review consisted of afternoon tea followed by the afternoon matinee performance of Jackie the Musical.
The afternoon tea was served within the Piano Bar at The Regent. Some thought has been given to the setting and decor, tables were adequately spaced, the tablecloths were lovely and crisp looking and furthermore the theatre’s staff could not do enough for everyone. The food and drinks were served in periodic china. In the normal display of a cake stand etc. We were given the choice between tea and coffee. Prior to attending the theatre asked if we had any dietary requirements. There were four types of triangular sandwiches. Fruit scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Plus the most enormous piece of Victoria sponge cake. This was absolutely delicious. Not sure my waistline will every recover!! The Piano Bar setting was lovely with period music playing in the background.
Jackie is a magazine which was around in the sixties and seventies (prior to my daughter and myself being born).This magazine appealed to many teenage girls in its hay day.
Jackie, one of the main characters played by Janet Dibley is in her 50’s. Jackie is in the midst of a divorce and she has cardboard boxes hanging around her home as she is in the process of cleaning out the loft in preparation for her move. The cardboard boxes give her time to reflect on the past, so as such she is almost reviewing her life through cardboard boxes. There are scenes of self-pity and emotion where she finds time to have tea and toast with the most important man in her life, her son David. David always applies marmite when making Jackie’s toast. She hates marmite it is her former husband John how enjoys this!
Within the performance is the ex’s new partner Gemma. Jackie and David obviously provide her with a suitable name and they refer to her as the horse.
The performance includes a pushy best-friend Jill who is continuously encouraging Jackie to get out and meet a new man. There is a mysterious man who Jackie accidentally comes into contact with during one of her low moments. Jackie leads an eventful life and learns some personal lessons along the way.
Popular hits are played throughout from singers such as David Essex and Donnie Osmond. The vocals delivered throughout the performance were spot on and performed exceptionally well considering they were also dancing around whilst singing. This in itself is a skill. A couple of my song highlights were 20th Century Boy performed by David, the son, and Tiger Feet performed by Frankie.
Frankie, the bar owner, played a good part and I thought mid-life crisis every time I looked at him, however, he was amusing.
During the second half of the performance the scenes for the first half started to fall into place more. The story became more meaningful.
The costumes fit with the era, lots of flares and fun vibrant colours. The set was very simple and allowed the costumes to be the real show stoppers.
Jackie The Musical is likely to appeal to women of all ages as they will find it easy to relate to.
One more thing to add, the dancing and dancers throughout the performance were truly amazing and captivating. My daughter remarked after the performance how much she had enjoyed it and how everyone on stage looked like they were having fun.
I would like to say that the Regent Theatre is a lovely venue for performances. It is spacious and seats offer plenty of leg room. Our seats were positioned centre stage, but I am certain all seats would offer good views. Box office staff are welcoming, helpful, friendly and patient. Likewise so were the door people who checked the tickets and directed accordingly. Refreshments are on sale, there are two bar areas, both of which are very pleasant. Ice-creams, drinks and sweets are on sale directly within the theatre at the interval, so you don’t have to move unless you want to. There are many toilets available these are hygienically clean and stocked with adequate levels of toilet paper, soap etc. The Regent Theatre is a five star venue.
I would also rate the afternoon tea and performance as five star.
Jackie The Musical is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.jackiethemusical.com.
For other shows with Afternoon Tea at the Regent Theatre in Stoke visit www.atgtickets.com/regent-theatre.
Regent Theatre, Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 1AP | 0844 871 7649