Rhinestone Mondays is set in the Warbleswick Sports and Social Club, where every Monday there are line dancing classes. The story, by Joe Graham, follows the group over a series of weeks, getting to know all their trials and tribulations.
There is plenty to like about the show, especially the comedy, which in the main is in the safe hands of Shaun Williamson (Barry from Eastenders) who plays the club barman, so desperate for business. The rest of the cast are extremely strong, with Lyn Paul (New Seekers) as well as Faye Tozer and Ian H Watkins (from the soon to be reformed pop group STEPS) leading the way. Even the STEPS hit, 5,6,7,8 is included as one of the musical numbers. But despite the strong cast this show just does not quite work, which is a great shame.
Rhinestone Mondays just feels too much like Stepping Out (the play, film and musical) where a group of people meet in a church hall to learn to tap dance, before ending up performing in a large show. Here we have the club for the church hall and the dancing weekend in place of the dance show. But the characters in the main are stereotypes: dancing teacher looking for love, girl with two left feet, old lady, gay man and male trying to move on after his divorce. Sadly, while often very funny and littered with extremely well known songs, the piece as a whole just does not gel. However, there is no lack of willingness from the audience to participate, no encouragement was needed when everyone in the theatre had to learn to line dance for the finale.
The tour of Rhinestone Mondays regrettably has been cut short, with Newcastle being the last venue. This is sad, as there are a lot of laughs, good singing, well known songs and the basis of a very good show.