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Save the Last Dance For Me (tour – Churchill Theatre, Bromley)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Directed by Bill Kenwright and Keith Strachan this new musical – now embarking on a national tour – is energetic and bound to get its audiences both smiling along and dancing in the aisles.

It’s set in the seaside town of Lowestoft, some time during the 1960s. Teenagers Marie and Jennifer have freedom on their minds as they embark on their first caravan holiday without their parents. After meeting a couple of US Army officers, the girls quickly start having some serious fun, and younger sister Marie – played by Megan Jones – wastes no time in falling in love with charming Tennessee man Curtis – played by Jason Denton.

Though the plot is a slight one –you might even call it one-dimensional, just a simple love story which at times reminded me of Dirty Dancing – this is a light-hearted feel-good musical which also has references to issues of age-racism, the Cold War and the sexual revolution – as well as some rock’n’roll classics from the 60s.

“Seven day weekend”, “Viva Las Vegas”, “Sweets for my sweet” and the (inevitable) title number give us a snapshot view of this colourful era. Ultimately this is a jukebox musical where the songs are the stars and the directors ensure that they are treated with the respect they deserve.


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