Sometimes it’s better to leave a production which is intended to be a musical revue concert in its original form rather than try and turn it into a full blown musical. However, writer and director Eddie McDowell has taken twenty hit songs from the 1960s and built a thin and sadly predictable story around them.
The plot revolves around two up and coming 60s pop groups from America: The Shoops (a take-off of The Supremes) and the Jersey Beats (think Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons). They have come to Britain's shores and, with the aid of their manager Frankie and his PA Joanna, they are seeking to break into the big time.
While the selection of hits is indeed well chosen, the plot is paper thin - it allows the audience to know what's going to happen next way too early and ultimately the shocking revelation is a damp squib. The show’s epilogue was so bad the audience started laughing when it was obviously meant to be a serious moment. At various points the audience were left with a pre-recorded voice over and the stage in complete darkness; this was pointless, apart from to allow time for costume changes.
Vocally the cast was excellent, delivering a rich selection of harmonies and breathing new life into songs many of which are in excess of 50 years old. I especially enjoyed the vocals of Maria Laskowska and Jennifer Good of The Shoops and Fraser Jamieson of the Jersey Beats.
The show would work as a fabulous musical revue of 60s hits in 60s costumes, but the addition of the script, poor acting and long pauses really pulls the show down and you're left thinking how much better it could have been.