Summer Holiday the Musical at New Wimbledon Theatre
Summer Holiday, based on the 1963 Cliff Richard film, is packed with pop hits and fun dance sequences, though it’s not entirely memorable.
Adapted for the stage by writers Mark Haddigan and Michael Gyngell, the story takes place across Britain, Italy, France and Greece. Mechanic Don, (X-Factor finalist Ray Quinn) is planning a boys’ trip with his friends Steve, Edwin and Cyril, using a double-decker bus borrowed from London Transport. They quickly come across a professional singing girl group called Do Re Mi – Mimsie, Alma and Angie – who themselves are journeying to a wedding in Athens, Greece. The boys manage to quickly charm the ladies, offering to drive them to the wedding. Along the way they meet a runaway singer, Barbara, known as Bobby when she disguises herself as a boy, who is fleeing from the constraints of her overbearing mother – played remarkably by Taryn Sudding – and assisted by the clueless agent Jerry (Wayne Smith). There are funny turns in the musical, like when Bobby (Barbara) is alone with Don as he emerges from the shower, and the gang of young men having to prove themselves performers when the authorities intercept them. After the interval last night, Quinn, who injured himself on stage, was replaced by Billy Roberts, and William Beckerleg took on the role of Steve. This was unfortunate as Quinn is perfectly cast as the swinging sixties lead character, though both actors performed well in their new roles.
The dance routines by director and choreographer Racky Plews are brilliantly sequenced, not a step out of place, particularly in a scene when the ensemble are in Switzerland, dancing with ski poles and gliding across the stage with the clever use of trendy footwear: Roller Shoes. However, what ultimately lacks in the adaptation is substance, with its thin storyline rendering the show enjoyable yet unmemorable. Due to the number of tracks, Summer Holiday becomes one long song and dance – at times evoking pantomime – but the demographic clearly enjoyed the musical, a wholesome and enjoyable production suitable for the whole family.
Photo: Phil Tragen
Summer Holiday the Musical is at New Wimbledon Theatre from 18th September until 22nd September 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Summer Holiday the Musical here: