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Dreamboats & Petticoats: Bringing On Back The Good Times at The Alexandra, Birmingham - Review

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Event: -
A night of nostalgia and great music
In these troubled times – when all we seem to hear about is war, inflation and rising Covid cases – Dreamboats & Petticoats: Bringing On Back The Good Times! is like a breath of fresh air, a refreshing way to spend a couple of hours in the company of talented actors and musicians joyously performing classic songs from the fifties and sixties. You'll feel ten times better when you leave than when you arrived.

Dreamboats & Petticoats, Bringing On Back The Good Times, The Alexandra Birmingham, Review, Mark Wynter, Elizabeth Carter, David Ribi, David Benson
Lively: Samara Clarke leads the keep fit class


It is the third in the Dreamboats & Petticoats stage shows franchise – the ultimate jukebox musical, packed with so many songs it's difficult to find room for a story. At times it seems that writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran wanted to include a song, so had to pen a line to justify its use. A character getting a beauty makeover is the cue for Roy Orbison's Oh, Pretty Woman, for example. But who cares about that when there's so much good music on offer and the cast's enthusiasm is so infectious?

Playing at The Alexandra in Birmingham until March 26, the show is inspired by compilation albums featuring hits by the likes of Roy Orbison, The Walker Brothers, Chuck Berry and many more. One of the great things about this production is that the band is on stage and all the music is totally live. So it's like the ultimate fifties and sixties concert.

Dreamboats & Petticoats, Bringing On Back The Good Times, The Alexandra Birmingham, Review, Mark Wynter, Elizabeth Carter, David Ribi, David Benson
Live music: At the hop on stage


The cast is so good – fabulous singing, terrific dancing and marvellous musicianship. Acappella versions of Blue Moon and Come Softly To Me were mesmerising.

Elizabeth Carter shines as Laura, the young singer who is tasting fame thanks to some pop hits, a role on Mike and Bernie Winters' TV show and a summer season with Frankie Howerd in Torquay. Her boyfriend, Bobby, is played by David Ribi, best known as the presenter of Channel 5's Milkshake! kids' TV programme. He has a bright musical theatre future ahead, thanks to a pitch-perfect singing voice and a boyish charm.

Dreamboats & Petticoats, Bringing On Back The Good Times, The Alexandra Birmingham, Review, Mark Wynter, Elizabeth Carter, David Ribi, David Benson
Charming: David Ribi and Elizabeth Clarke


There were also stand-out performances from former University of Warwick student Alastair Hill as Norman, the lead singer of on-stage band The Conquests, and Lauren Anderson-Oakley, as his wife, Sue. Samara Clarke was lively as keep fit instructor Donna, especially during a full cast workout to The Clapping Song, while David Luke impressed as Ray, her boyfriend and band manager.

Dreamboats & Petticoats, Bringing On Back The Good Times, The Alexandra Birmingham, Review, Mark Wynter, Elizabeth Carter, David Ribi, David Benson
Teen idol: Mark Wynter performs his hits


It is mainly a young cast but a couple of veterans come close to stealing the show. Sixty-year-old David Benson impersonates Kenneth Williams hosting the Eurovision Song Contest. After some typical cheeky asides, he entertains with the comic song Ma Crepe Suzette. Hilarious! And former sixties 'teen idol' Mark Wynter appears in the role of talent agent Larry, then performs, as himself, a medley of his hits, including Venus in Blue Jeans and Go Away Little Girl. Incredibly, at the age of 79, he still has the moves!

Forget all your cares, go and see the show, and enjoy a feelgood night of nostalgia.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Dreamboats & Petticoats, Bringing On Back The Good Times, The Alexandra Birmingham, Review, Mark Wynter, Elizabeth Carter, David Ribi, David Benson
Venue: The Alexandra, Birmingham
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Why? The Dreamboats gang return for a third instalment in the hit series
When: March 21 - 26, 2022
Phone: 0844 871 7615
Where: The Alexandra, Birmingham
Cost: From £13 plus fees
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