Darlington Hippodrome – until Saturday 29 September
Summer Holiday has arrived in Darlington, complete with a big, red, double-decker London bus.
Based on the 1963 film starring Cliff Richard; Summer Holiday tells the tale of four London based bus mechanics, who plan to go on holiday to St Tropez in their bus to show how a bus can work as a holiday and place to stay in one. The boys – Don (Ray Quinn), Cyril (Rory Maguire), Steve (Billy Roberts) and Edwin (Joe Goldie) – bump into the girls after their car breaks down. Angie (Laura Marie Benson), Alma (Alice Barker) and Mimsie (Gabby Antrobus) are the girl group “Do- Re-Me”, on their way to Athens. In the middle of this, singing sensation Barbara (Sophie Matthews) runs away from her domineering mother Stella (Taryn Sudding) and manager Jerry (Wayne Smith). Stowing away on the bus she claims to be a 14 year old boy called Bobby.
The live band led by Rob Wicks sometimes drowned out the sound of the singers – but with most of the audience singing along anyway no one seemed to mind. The costumes were fabulous and, as always, Racky Plews choreography was superb. Kudos too to the stage crew manoeuvring the bus which clearly had a mind of its own.
If I had to be picky I would ask why Ray Quinn, who seems to have a natural “cheeky chappy” persona was playing Don in a very stiff “Trevor Howard” type style? But the accent never slipped so well done for that.
Gloriously cheesy, packed full of hit songs and full of nostalgia this is a fun night out and its worth a visit (revisit) if only for the sight of Ray Quinn dressed only in a pair of small white pants singing Bachelor Boy.
In Darlington until Saturday and on tour around the UK summerholidaythemusical.co.uk