Here we go again and still hand-jiving. This is the start of the fifth tour (running four months) and the tenth year of the Seventies music show that has had the box office singing around the world.
It claims to have been a pioneer for the likes of Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You and this new production has a genuine Seventies survivor in Alvin Stardust sharing top billing.
Early on during the non-stop disco pop, there were times when the music, sharp clothes and moves seemed distinctly dated.
But the sheer energy and enthusiasm of a young cast, especially the boy and girl dance teams, plus enduring favourites such as YMCA, We Are Family, I Will Survive, and Yesterday Once More, successfully resuscitated the old formula.
What helps is that the audience already know the script, routines and songs. This fan base is happy to feed on nostalgia.
Antony Costa, of the boy band Blue and ITV’s jungle humiliation show, has the singing and pouting lead as teenager Roddy. He is ideally cast and contributes handsomely.
Alvin Stardust, who sings as himself in one scene, plays Roddy’s Elvis-loving dad and is totally at home playing guitar and Presley hits. Dad drinks, hence “Elvis hasn’t left the building or the pub”.
There is solid back up from blonde Natalie Waters as the girlfriend, Nick Hailey as the dominating disc jokey and Jane Doyle as the dim friend. But best of all, and someone to watch for, is Pete Hillier.
He is hilarious as Roddy’s geek friend and with his rubber joints he catches and holds the eye continually. A real stage presence.