The Drifters Girl Review

The Garrick Theatre, London – until February 2023

Reviewed by Emily Cliff


Rhythm and Blues is a timeless, age-defining genre of music that everyone knows and loves — enriched in history, dripping with culture, soundtracking, and defining one of the most important and notable movements of our time. The Drifters Girl tells the story of a woman and the band she managers fighting their way through the music business. They’re called The Drifters.

From the very opening number of this production, there was not a frown in the house. The joy emanating from note after note and step after step was contagious. People to the left and to the right of me were beaming ear to ear with pure enjoyment and entertainment from what was happening onstage. Littered with uplifting songs throughout, The Drifters Girl tells the story of The Drifters in a way that captivates audiences from all walks of life.

Everything from the jukebox silhouette opening positions to the silky smooth and effortlessly stylish and yet simple effective choreography was simply magnificent. While the whole cast was incredibly breathtaking in their roles notably, Tarinn Callender (Hamilton; Come From Away) was especially on form with both choreography and vocals charming the audience with his strong movements and even stronger vocals.

This review cannot go without mentioning the leading lady herself Felicia Boswell. Marking her West End debut, Boswell was impeccable and by far the best ever West End Debut I have ever seen. The way Boswell delivered the part of Faye Treadwell was so incredibly magnetic and powerful, every line she delivered, every note she sang made you yearn for the next. With a character as powerful and as driven as Faye Treadwell, you have to have an actor that can deliver the same kind of energy and portray the bold personality of the character without it being too overwhelming, and Boswell did just that and even more. She brings to life the significance and rich history of a band that has defined so many moments in pop culture and society as well as the struggles that faced women in the music industry.

The staging of this show was incredible. Combined lighting and incredible stage design made for an immersive performance with little space to work with on stage. The moving walls added depth and perspective to each scene. The strong LED lighting gave emotional context to each scene making the production even more captivating.

Overall, this production was phenomenal, effortlessly stylish and dripping with personality. The writing tells the previously unknown story of The Drifters in a subtle educational way. Dealing with some extremely heavy themes, but using them to educate through music and storytelling. Capturing the true boyband charm followed by a strong feminist-driven plotline this musical is a must-see on your next trip to the West End.