21st Century
The Future
World Travel
Books & Film
Original Fiction
Opinion & Lifestyle
Politics & Living
Film Space
Movies in depth
Kid's Books
Reviews & stories

The International Writers Magazine:

Shout - The Musical
Linda Regan

Britain is currently in the midst of an economical crisis- luxuries like eating out, theatre and holidays are all top of the list of things we are recommended to cut-back on, plus only a percentage of the current population of Britain are old enough to remember the ‘Swinging Sixties;’ so how come the sixties show Shout, currently touring the country, is one of the few shows on the circuit playing to packed audiences? Some of the dates are return bookings because so many clamoured, unsuccessfully, to buy tickets the first time around.

The show takes us back into the golden age- the swinging sixties; the carefree days of mods, mini skirts, and memorable music. We, the audience were clapping our hands, tapping our feet and up in the aisles dancing or twisting to the hits of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield, and Lulu, to name but a few.

During an interval drink with the friends I went with we found ourselves discussing why the sixties was referred to as ‘The golden age.’ British sitcom was at its height in those days too. The big comedy hits of that era- Faulty Towers, Dad’s Army, George and Mildred, Only Fools and Horses, Steptoe and Son, are still widely viewed by today’s generation. UK Gold was set up as a channel to specialise in the ever-growing request for more viewings of the comedies of that era; their viewing figures are phenomenal, so that speaks for itself.

Less people go to the theatre these days, we know the reason for that is that ticket prices have risen far, far above the rise of inflation, and yet the long runs and sell out more than not come from that golden, gone-by age. The Abba stage show, Mamma Mia, (not to mention the success of the film Mamma Mia) for example. We Will Rock You (the story of Queen) as well as the Elvis Presley musical- Jail House Rock recently took the West-End by storm. Dancing in the Street, (The seventies Motown hits). Grease, (The show of the early seventies hit musical), among many other sixties and seventies touring musicals brought us out in queues, and not just people old enough to remember the carefree hippy days of ‘All we Need is Love.’

I don’t know why or what the answer is, but I do know if you are looking for success as a performer or writer, study that era, the style and the structure of that place in history, and I’ll look out for your name in the best-sellers lists.
Back to Shout, starring the fabulous and mega- talented Clare Sweeney, ditzy Sue Pollard, Donna Steele and Shona White. Clare Sweeney has already proved herself to be an all-round talent, and in this she is fabulous- as a singer, actress and dancer, but what stood out most for me was her exceptional presence and warmth on stage. I hope she will go on to be even bigger and better as the years go by, I think she is proving to be one of Britain’s most glittering musical talents. Su Pollard is an exceptional singer and in a role well suited to her personality, she grabs it with two hands. (She kept her two feet for the dancing routines, and Wow! She can really hold her own with dancers half her age). Laugh after laugh follows in this show, but Pollard has the best one line. I won’t spoil it by repeating it, but the laughter that followed the line went on for what seemed like forever, but then Su’s comedy timing is faultless and has proved herself to be one of the best comediennes of our time.

New to me were the performances by Donna Steele and Shona White- I hope they are just breaking out into British musicals and we will be seeing a lot more of them, they are both exceptional all-rounders.

I went with a party of eight women, we all left on a massive high. I went through many tissues and all my mascara. The show is funny, touching and truthful and all credit must go to the artists. If you want a bit of colourful escapism and to dive into another era away from recession and unemployment figures- look no further.

© Linda Regan - Nov 2008

Passion Killers is published by Crème de la Crime
ISBN 9780955158988

 Also on web-

More Reviews


© Hackwriters 1999-2008 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibility - no liability accepted by or affiliates.