An evening of classic 1950s and early 1960s rock ‘n’ roll songs from the likes of Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry and many, many more await audiences at the Wyvern Theatre this week as Dreamboats and Petticoats rolls up in town for a week-long show.

Set in 1961 the show, inspired by the multi-million selling album of the same name, tells the story of Norman and Bobby, two young musicians who compete to win the youth club song writing competition, as well as the eyes of girls Sue and Laura. Bobby soon realises that Laura has musical talent of her own, and rock ‘n’ roll fame awaits them along with romance and love.

A brilliant set design transported the audience from the present day of Grandfather Bobby’s attic to the Youth club and Southend-On-Sea 50 years before and back again.

With much of the audience taking a trip down memory lane reliving their youth, even the youngsters in the audience (me!) couldn’t help singing along to the classics being performed beautifully onstage.

The whole cast shone throughout and it was obvious to see why the pre-show announcement reminded everyone ALL the music and singing was being performed live onstage, you wouldn’t believe it otherwise as there was so much energy put into the performance how exactly could they make those sounds without the odd puffing and panting?

With outstanding performances throughout, the standout performance of the evening had to be Elizabeth Carter.

Bringing sweetness and wit to the role of Laura she commanded the attention of the whole audience whenever she appeared on stage, and her performances in the duet of Del Shannon’s Runaway and Connie Francis’ Who’s Sorry Now was truly stunning.

Although it took a little while for people to feel comfortable jigging around in their seats there was an element of audience participation throughout and the entire crowd were clearly itching to get on their feet long before the finale.

Dreamboats and Petticoats is a feelgood feast of a show which I could watch over and over again.

The show is playing at the Wyvern Theatre until Saturday. You can get your tickets at  


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