Dreamboats & Petticoats Bringing on Back the Good Times!
From Tuesday 9 August, 2022 to Saturday 13 August, 2022
at Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

by Tony Flood

A multi-talented cast, featuring former pop singer Mark Wynter, makes 60s feel-good musical Dreamboats & Petticoats Bringing On Back The Good Times! a big success at the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne.
Now aged 79, he wows the audience with a superb medley of his hits Venus in Blue Jeans, Go Away Little Girl and It’s Almost Tomorrow – plus some energy-sapping dance moves!
Mark, who is also an accomplished actor, told me afterwards: “It’s very pleasing that audiences still enjoy watching me strut my stuff more than 60 years on.”
A live band, cast members playing instruments while dancing and perfectly pitched vocals from Mark, Chloe Edwards-Wood, Jacob Fowler, Joseph Lukehurst, Lauren Anderson-Oakley, Samara Clarke and David Luke provide a wonderful mix of glitz and nostalgia.
Bill Kenwright knew he would be on to a winner in producing and directing a sequel to Dreamboats and Petticoats, penned by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the creators of Birds of a Feather and The New Statemen.
A light plot about romantic ups and downs is built around hit songs from Roy Orbison, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley, The Walker Brothers and many more. The original characters make a welcome return, led by Bobby (Jacob Fowler) and Laura, played by Chloe Edwards-Wood on Wednesday as Elizabeth Carter was not available.
Showbiz hopefuls Bobby and Laura used to perform as a duo but, following creative differences, she has gone solo and he has re-joined his old band. Jacob and Chloe lack chemistry and tension in trying to show love for each other, but contribute some great vocals, with Chloe delivering a superb ‘You Don’t Own Me’. She also makes an excellent contribution as dance captain in slick routines choreographed by Carole Todd.
Relationship problems are encountered by the band’s flirtatious lead singer Norman (Joseph Lukehurst). These and the controlling influence of Laura’s pompous manager Larry (Mark Wynter) provide most of the remaining story lines.
There are some excellent comedy touches, most of which come from David Benson with his wonderful impression of Kenneth Williams as the host of the Eurovision song contest, and Mike Lloyd, as a quirky holiday camp manager.
The result is an uplifting, joyful experience!