Dreamboats and Petticoats, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until Saturday, August 26.

chi Dreamboats and Petticoats. Pamela Raith Photography
chi Dreamboats and Petticoats. Pamela Raith Photography

Nostalgia, sweet innocence, endless charm and some of the best songs ever written all blend beautifully in the fabulous fun which comes packaged as Dreamboats and Petticoats.

It all started with a series of multi-million selling compilation albums. Ten years ago, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran had the genius to write a story around them.

The result is a delight from first to last, wonderfully delivered by a cast which captures the essence of the time and delivers it all with precisely the right mix of naivete and bravado.

Marks and Gran’s skill is that the songs flow so effortlessly from the tale they have concocted – a story which, exactly as the songs suggest, comes complete with a Bobby, a Laura and a Sue.

The tale revolves around a song-writing competition back in 1961; it also revolves around a couple of young lovers who struggle to realise it’s each other they ought to be with.

Along the way we get all the misunderstandings, strops and heartaches of young love failing to find its target. Nailing all the awkwardness and hesitations, Alistair Higgins and Elizabeth Carter are perfect as the youngsters you find yourself willing to get together; but everyone plays their part in a genuine ensemble show huge on energy and high on fun.

And linking it all is a rush of songs, each one a cracker, each one created live on stage, each one perfectly in context and oozing memories. Marks and Gran came up with the ideal vehicle; the cast bring it to life on yet another great night at the Mayflower.

Phil Hewitt

Tickets on http://www.mayflower.org.uk
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