Ray Quinn takes the Cliff Richard role in Summer Holiday

Summer Holiday
Summer Holiday

Ray Quinn is promising a great celebration of what it meant to be young and in love in the 1960s. He stresses he isn’t setting out to be Cliff Richard, but he’s having the time of his life in Summer Holiday, currently out on tour and currently getting a standing ovation every night.

The show plays Brighton Theatre Royal from July 17-21.

Based on the 1960s film of the same name, starring Cliff and The Shadows, Summer Holiday will include all of the number one hits from the movie, plus some additional Cliff Richard classics.

Ray steps into the role of Don (originally played by Cliff in the film), a guy who sets out on a fun-packed boys trip in a London bus visiting Paris, The Alps, Italy and Greece, in search of a good time and a brilliant summer.

“It’s really exciting to do,” says Ray. “The thing for me is that I never wanted to see the film. It’s another one where I just don’t want to do a copy-and-paste version. I want to put my own stamp on it. People say to me ‘Are you looking forward to playing Cliff?’ and I tell them ‘I am not playing Cliff!”

There are a certainly a few adjustments, though: “I am covered in tattoos. Those have to get covered up! It is a good fun old-fashioned show. It is such an easy story. There is nothing complicated about it. There is nothing you can’t understand. There is just a lot of love and emotion and feelings that people can all relate to. We have had standing ovations every night, and we are getting such mixed audiences. There are aunts and mums and dads and nephews and nieces and children, all generations... people who have come for the nostalgia and people who are discovering it for the first time. There is a great buzz. You get people reminiscing about the songs.”

And as Ray says, there is a big distinction between him and Cliff: “I am a swing artist. My first album was swing. I come in from that background with a bit less of an American tone. But I am rock ‘n’ roll as well. I think I am a bit warmer toned musically to what Cliff did, but I still want to sound like what people want to hear in this show, just with my own little spin on it is. All the songs come from a good place, from the heart. The Young Ones is a song about being young and in love and maybe let’s commit and make some young ones of our own! It’s a commitment song and a love story. It’s all just about being young and in love in the 60s. There was no internet. Not so many people had televisions. It’s about four young lads who get on a bus and take it around the country for a summer holiday.”