As England begins to swing into the sixties, three girls from the north descend upon London to make a life for themselves. With a fine selection of hits from the period, Shout! is a fairly formulaic show that shamelessly taps into the country’s nostalgia vein. Any story invariably takes second place to the musical numbers that come thick and fast throughout and possibly for this reason, the show remains decidedly amiable rather than ever becoming electrifying.
With such a lame story as its basis, Shona White, Tiffany Graves and Marissa Dunlop as the three girls are fairly interchangeable. It is not a case of whether or not we care about the characters unwanted pregnancies or their loveless marriages so much as which diva will they cover next, Lulu, Dusty or Petula. Here the girls really come into their own, with Graves leading the pack with a distinctive vocal quality that works so well on Bobby’s Girl and To Sir With Love, while Dunlop brings the house down with Son Of A Preacher Man and Alfie.
John Jack, as the only man in the show, evidently relishes his chance to hold up a mirror to the inherent misogyny of the period, creating much of the humour. The rest is provided by the unquestionable star of the vehicle, Su Pollard. Pollard’s familiar clowning suits the role of kindly Aunt Yvonne perfectly, but there are also extremely tender moments, such as the outstanding You’re My World, where we are reminded what a talented entertainer she really is.
Arts Theatre, London, April 29-June 28
- Based on an original idea by Phillip George and David Lowenstein, UK adaption by Julie Balloo
- Bill Deamer
- Mark Goucher Ltd
- Su Pollard, Shona White, Tiffany Graves, Marissa Dunlop, John Jack.
- Running time
- 2hrs 10mins