Dreamboats and Petticoats

dreamboats and petticoats
Dreamboats and Petticoats

Dreamboats and Petticoats is a jukebox musical based on popular songs from the 60’s. The story is fairly typical and tells of a group of teenagers who hang around together at a youth club. Our leading man (well boy), Bobby is determined to be a rock star and has a crush on busty Sue. Sue on the other hand has eyes for cool kid and lead singer of the band, Norman. Bobby’s best friend, Ray has a younger sister, Laura who is into Bobby in a big way, oh and also happens to be a talented songwriter! Of course she gets overlook by Bobby until her 16th birthday where we see her out of the school uniform and pigtails. Now I won’t ruin the ending for you although I’m sure the reader can work it out without too much strain!

Dreamboats and PetticoatsMy main complaint with Dreamboats and Petticoats was the storyline. There was very little to it and as hinted at above rather predictable.  The songs had also been sandwiched in, in an obvious way. Luckily the show does focus on the music and the show rarely goes more than a few minutes without another song. The programme lists 46 songs that are in the show although often it is a small fragment or even 2 lines from the song. I have to confess that I don’t think that I am the demographic that show is aimed at, looking down from the circle at the end there was a sea of white and gray hair with a few follically challenged dotted around also. I of course knew the more famous numbers but many went over my head and therefore my appreciation of some of the music was possibly not as great as it could be.

The cast delivered all numbers well and even managed to get me nodding along to some of the numbers I didn’t know. They all had voices which really suited that style of music and despite them being, presumably a fair few years older than their playing age, they passed as teenagers very convincingly!

Alistair Higgins took the role of Bobby and despite being rather too cute to believe that none of the girls would fancy him (apart from his mates younger sister) he suited the role. He managed to nail the vocals in the music, with a particularly impressive higher register. Elizabeth Carter took on the role of Laura, who was supposed to be 15/16 throughout the show. Despite being roughly my age (judging from her graduation year in her programme credits) she carried this off easily. Her characterisation of the Laura, encompassed the awkward body language of a 15/16 year old remarkably well and she also had a lovely tone to her voice.

The choreography was fairly simple but firmly set around 60’s moves. At times it would have been nice to see some more complex choreography however this show doesn’t need much more. The costumes also encompassed the time well and the girls dresses with the large petticoats in the party scene were a favourite of mine.

The music was all played live on stage by members of the cast. It particularly impressed me how Chloe Edwards-Wood and Lauren Chinery switched effortlessly from dancing to playing the saxophone without even stopping for breath. The rest of the band were equally as impressive switching between the characters on the show and the band, in fact they even let the drummer talk!!

Don’t go to Dreamboats and Petticoats expecting to be challenged with a piece of theatre but if you like 60’s music and fancy a feel good evening out then this is a good choice.


Dreamboats & Petticoats is on at the Orchard Theatre until 11th March, it then continues its tour.


  • Having seen this production, I totally agree with your review, but as I’m a little older than you I can relate to the great 60s music a lot more and was familiar with most of the songs. A colourful show with toe-tapping tunes but lacking in a deeper storyline, so go if you want an uplifting show which doesn’t demand anything of you but to just sit back and enjoy.

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