International Writers Magazine:
- The Musical
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, Dads Army, George and Mildred, Only
Fools and Horses, Steptoe and Son, are still widely viewed by todays
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 dont 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 Ill 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 Britains 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 wont spoil it by repeating it, but the laughter
that followed the line went on for what seemed like forever, but then
Sus 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
Killers is published by Crème de la Crime
Also on web- www.lindareganonline.co.uk
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