I Should Be So Lucky at New Wimbledon Theatre
I Should Be So Lucky is the Stock Aitken Waterman musical and for those that may not have heard of Stock Aitken Waterman I guarantee that you would have heard of their music. They penned hits including ‘Especially For You,’ ‘Never Going To Give You Up,’ ‘I Should Be So Lucky,’ and produced even more including ‘You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record) and ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas.’ Of course with hits this big it was only a matter of time before their music was given the musical theatre treatment.
The book by Debbie Isitt (who also directs) tells of Ella who gets jilted at the alter by Nathan but instead of moping around her mum, grandmother, sister, maid of honour and friend convince her to still go on her honeymoon…with them. Swiftly after their departure Nathan discovers he has made a mistake and encouraged by his best man Ash they make the journey to Turkey to try to win back Ella. The plot is banal as it sounds and it is made even more bizarre by the fact that an old school friend,a conman, a grandparent with dementia and a family member with a gambling problem are all thrown into the mix with very little resolution to most of the side plots. Add into this some jokes that are more cringe than funny and others that are simply outdated and I found myself laughing out loud at the show rather than with it every so often.
I should also probably mention Kylie when talking about the plot. At numerous points throughout the show Ella talks to herself in the mirror and it is at these points that Kylie appears in the mirror to give Ella a pep talk, in kind of a magic mirror style. The videos by Sophie Muller are high quality and fun and a nice camp addition to the show.
The show embraces the cheesy music of Stock Aitken Waterman and everything that comes with it. With music this cheesy it is hard for the show to take itself too seriously and most songs begin with a metaphorical wink to the audience. Some of the music did feel shoehorned into the plot and most of the time did very little to move the plot along or make us care for the characters but when the numbers were as fun as they were it often didn’t matter.
The cast seemed happy to embrace the fun and frivolity and there was a huge amount of talent on the stage with the whole cast delivering comedy moments whilst belting out Kylie. Playing Ella was Lucie-May Sumner who was wonderful in the role, she balances out the comedy needed with some of the more tender moments with vocals that really suited the pop/musical theatre blend. Kayla Carter played Bonnie, the Maid of Honour and delivered some real moments of warmth. Matthew Croke played Nadeem, a potential new love interest for Ella and he pitched the comedy perfectly, able to look very handsome yet not being afraid to really ham up the comedy, especially when the competition between him and Nathan for Ella’s heart got going made him a firm favourite of mine on stage.
The set by Tom Rogers is also one that deserves a mention. As the show begins the audience is greeted with a smorgasbord of hearts and this theme continues throughout the show, from heart shaped chair backs through to heart shaped steering wheels on the yacht. This motif really works for this show and is a lovely little attention to detail that didn’t go unnoticed.
I Should Be So Lucky may have a banal and cringeworthy script but luckily the music and the talented cast make up for it. It may not move you but the songs will entertain and you’ll be guaranteed to be humming ‘I Should Be So Lucky,’ all the way home.
I Should Be So Lucky is running at New Wimbledon Theatre until 3rd February 2024. To find out more and book tickets visit their website.