The theatre was full, and we took our seats with a bag of chocolate orange pieces and a bottle of pop. The show was full of 60s music, and that Antony Costa from boyband “Blue” was in it, but that was all we knew.
We like music from the 60s, I love Elvis and rock and roll, and Dharma loves soul and swing. We weren’t disappointed. The songs were all accompanied by a large on stage band, performed impeccably by the musicians who also took roles in the story.
The main protagonists were likeable, and had great voices, so the story was enjoyable to follow. Costa pulled off the American accent really well, and his voice really suited the songs he performed.
A highlight of the show was the performance of Marie’s parents. They were also in the band, and a couple of times accompanied numbers with their instruments in their costumes.
There were a lot of laughs to be found, mainly around the language barrier between the British and Americans – “fortnight?” – and the whole story flowed through each song. Every track chosen suited its part in the show, and although I didn’t know every number, there were some real gems in the play list. I even spotted a couple of teachers in the audience having a bit of a bop with everyone else during the finale, and on a school night too.
I found myself singing along, thinking of summer Sundays when my mum would play “Teenager in Love” and “Please Mr Postman” on her record player while she cleaned the house.
A particularly impressive facet to the performance was the acapella composition of a couple of songs, especially “Sweets for my Sweet.” I also think the actors did a great job, especially the ones with multiple roles.
The story boldly deals with the difficult issues of young love and racism in the 60s and does a great job of portraying the changing attitudes of the time.
All in all I’m happy to give the show a score of 9/10, with the only improvement being personal to me. I would have liked to see more songs that I knew, although the audience certainly knew all the ones performed judging by the sing-alongs.
Kieran and Dharma Anders
For Bolton Live
Book here for the show: www.atgtickets.com/…/save-the-las…/palace-theatre-manchester