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A Slice of Saturday Night review at Queens Hornchurch

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Could the producing world’s obsession with cheap musicals about the sixties finally, at last, have begun to lose momentum?

Not a hope pop pickers, according to director Matt Devitt and his cast.

On Mark Walters’ giant jukebox set with the Club a Gogo at its heart, using all the high energy music making and singing this company is renowned for, the cast strut their stuff.

The actors are considerably longer in the tooth than the song Seventeen says they are, and there’s no hiding it. Although famous for its actor musicians, the image of three mini-clad, mature women playing trumpets just doesn’t work.

The cast and what little story there is simply don’t gel, but hey, now it’s become undemanding fodder for the dumbed down e-generation.

When first encountered years ago, A Slice of Saturday Night didn’t impress some of us there at the original events. Now, the genuine, legendary sixties discs played before the show, in the interval and after, only serve to emphasise this aspect.

Not that this Heather Brothers musical has much of a story to tell. What little there is, is squeezed in between the royalty-avoiding sixties pastiche pop numbers belted out for all their worth.

Richard Brightiff’s Gary is probably the nearest thing in looks and sound to the Mike Sarne who pleaded “Come Outside” to Wendy (Pauline Fowler) Richard in June 1962.

Simon Parrish appears the most comfortable with his ageing character, the mature DJ Eric Rubber Legs Devine surviving on his legacy of misspent youth.

The audience loved it.

Production Information

Queen’s Hornchurch, May 18-June 9

Author
Heather Brothers
Director
Matt Devitt
Producer
Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch
Cast
Lindsay Ashworth, Richard Brightiff, Karen Fisher-Pollard. Simon Parrish
Running time
2hrs 15mins

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