Review: Dreamboats and Petticoats at Cheltenham Everyman

Tighten your neckerchiefs and get ready to twist, shout and do the mashed potato. Dreamboats and Petticoats has made its way to Cheltenham after its successful 10 year tour around the nation.

If there is one criteria you need to meet to watch this production, it is 60s music. If you love it, then you NEED to buy a ticket. Hate it? Stay as far away as possible. Luckily, I fall into the former category.


Credit: Cheltenham Everyman

The music is at the heart of this piece, set in an Essex youth club in the early 1960s, music and the opposite sex is what made the world go round for this bunch of late teenagers. Fast forward a fair few decades and they are all turning up at the Cheltenham Everyman ready to fist pump to Sonny and Cher. The company understood the innate love the audience has for the music and so nourished each and every song, making sure every single note sang or play was live and before your very eyes.

The phrase ‘bursting into song’ couldn’t be more apt, with lines being interrupted by the need for a sing song. With a 60:40 ratio of songs to acting the show is incredibly upbeat and full of life. The cast don’t rush through songs and scenes, nor drag and slow up during the high energy numbers.

The company was bursting with not only talented actors but multifaceted performers who excelled in every area. Almost every member was an outstanding musician, actor, and singer. Some incredible voices from Laura Darton as Sue, and Gracie Johnson as Donna, my only criticism is that we didn’t hear more of them.

A special mention goes to Mike Lloyd, who proved there is no such thing as small parts. He was incredibly versatile and turned his hands to many skills and roles.

If you’ve seen Save The Last Dance For Me at the Everyman last year it’s very reminiscent of that kind of production. The plot is massively average but that is not the reason you go. You go to smile, sing, dance, fall in love, and get transported back to the sixties.

Crammed full of references and songs you can’t help but toe-tap to, the performance is wonderfully uplifting and a joyous start to my week.

Dreamboats and Petticoats is at the Cheltenham Everyman until Saturday.

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