Based upon the songs of nostalgic compilation albums of the same name, Dreamboats and Petticoats the musical was brought to life in 2009 as the brainchild of BAFTA-award winning comedy script writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran (Save the Last Dance For Me, Goodnight Sweetheart) and is produced by Bill Kenwright.
Dreamboats & Petticoats heads back in time to the swinging 60’s, when pop music was fresh and new and youth clubs were the in place to be seen (in Essex at least). Bobby (Alistair Higgins) is an aspiring singer songwriter who has high hopes of becoming the lead singer in the St Mungo’s Youth Club group. That is until he loses out to smooth talking and hip swivelling Norman (Alastair Hill). Clad in a T Birds style leather jacket, a John Travolta quiff and the rugged good looks to be considered one of those bad boys who gets the girls, Norman is the hottest face in the youth club and can have any girl he fancies – and he seems to have caught the eye of Sue (Laura Darton).
The only problem is that Bobby is smitten with Sue and Sue is smitten with Norman (who isn’t interested). As with all great tangled love affairs, this love triangle soon becomes a square when Laura (Elizabeth Carter) the teeth braced and bespectacled little sister of Ray (David Luke) develops a crush on Bobby (No wonder it was called the swinging 60’s, there’s more partner swapping than an episode of Jeremy Kyle)!
Despite not quite living up to Sue in the buxom-bubbly-babe-stakes, Laura has her piano and a love of music up her blouse sleeve and in the hopes of winning his heart, she offers her help in a songwriting competition.
As with most stories of unrequited love, the affections of Laura’s are un reciprocated by Bobby. That is until the day of her sixteenth birthday party where she pulls a Sandra Dee and loses the glasses, loses the braces, dons a petticoat and bags her dreamboat.
She dons a petticoat and bags her dreamboat.
With over 40 pop hits from the 60’s being played and sung live on stage (including rather fittingly ‘Bobby’s Girl’, ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’ and ‘Runaround Sue’) Dreamboats and Petticoats is a fun filled show of pretty dresses, brilliant choreography and some laugh out loud moments from an enthusiastic and thoroughly entertaining cast.
But did Laura and Bobby eventually win the songwriting contest? You’ll have to see the show to find out.
Dreamboats & Petticoats will run at the Regent Theatre in Stoke until the 15th April. Tickets are available via the box office or online here.