Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Review: Son of a Preacher Man UK Tour




Hiya! It’s just Jordan with something a little different – a review of Son of a Preacher Man, a brand new musical based on the songs of Dusty Springfield.

How on earth does that relate to Corrie? Well, it happens to star the wonderful Debra Stephenson, better known to us Corrie fanatics as Frankie Baldwin, in one of the four leading roles. It also starred Ian Reddington, who some savvy Corrie fans may remember as drummer Vernon Tomlin, a very short-term husband of Liz McDonald. The UK tour arrived in Sunderland this week and I was lucky enough to be invited to the press night of this brand new jukebox musical.  


Debra plays the role of Alison, one of three people who inexplicably travel to the site of an old record store in London that was ran by a man known as The Preacher Man. The three strangers each share a connection to the record shop of the 60s and are shocked to discover that the store is now a diner ran by Simon, the – you guessed it – son of the preacher man. The three travellers soon realise that although they are strangers to each other, they have one thing in common: their love lives are tragic. Alison is a teacher who is helplessly in love with one of her students, Paul (Ian Reddington) never got the future he wanted with a man he loved and Kat (Diana Vickers) is convinced the love of her life is a man who rejected her on a dating site. For some reason only palpable in a jukebox musical, Simon feels it is his duty to help these three hopeless romantics get their love lives back on track.

Jukebox musicals are on the rise more than ever before. It is hardly surprising when looking at the longevity of shows such as Mamma Mia! However, there are many jukebox musicals that have come and gone spectacularly over the years (I’m looking at you, Viva Forever), and it easy to see why. While the songs are important, a believable story is needed to hold them together. Although the story of Son of a Preacher Man is rather thin, none of the songs feel as if they have been forced in for the sake of it. For the duration of the two hours, the show remained a light and frothy crowd-pleaser. That is exactly how a jukebox musical should be.


The show manages to capture the nostalgia of 60s music perfectly, as well as the longevity. This is possible due the characters: each of the four leads are different ages, ranging from 50+ to early 20s, showing that Dusty Springfield and the love for her music has lived on through the years. Every aspect of the production sparkled, every detail giving off the vibe of an era which has survived much longer than its years. Debra Stephenson’s big solo comes early in Act I and her rendition of the classic All I See Is You proved that the actress certainly is multi-talented. However, I must highlight Diana Vickers as the standout star of the show. Some may remember her as a sweet sixteen-year old who competed barefoot on The X Factor in 2008. The doll-like songstress has now blossomed into a triple threat and gave an utterly charming performance, proving that she is one of the most talented X Factor alums, with a voice which, to my mind, stole the show. 



 I must admit, I am not a lover of jukebox musicals. But since I never say no to theatre, I accepted the invited, and was very pleasantly surprised. A bouncy, bubblegum musical which has the power to make all ages smile.

Son of a Preacher Man is currently touring the UK until November. Tour dates and ticket details can be found here.


As always,

Thanks for reading!

Jordan


Twitter- @JordanLloyd39



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1 comment:

Martin Rosen said...

Disappointed that the only London venue is in Wimbledon (SW London for the non-tennis fans!). Unfortunately I live in NW London and to make the 20 mile feasable, I think I will have to wait for Crossrail!

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