Dusty Springfield fans will love Son of a Preacher Man as the 60s return with Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood on both direction and choreographic duties. Just don’t hold your breath for a thrilling script because a good storyline is something that’s, unfortunately, lacking in this new jukebox musical.
It’s just a jump to the left… we all know The Time Warp, many of us knew the hit tune before we knew where it originated from. Last night in Malvern Theatres, a packed house full of many individuals dressed as their favourite characters from The Rocky Horror Show, Time warped in unison. The atmosphere was electric as the show again proved that it stands the test of time and still appeals to its fans and new audience members alike.
‘Write what you know’ remains the best advice to any author and the story of how Michael Kirk picked up the plot of Hatched ‘n Dispatched from his 9-year-old observations of sexual shenanigans round the back of the Railway Institute in Derby is priceless. But years of exposure to sitcoms and pantomime mean his script, particularly in the larkier first half, can sound derived: the moment when Wendi Peters as grotesque matriarch Dorothy sends her daughters into the kitchen to cut sandwiches for a funeral with “you slice, I’ll butter” is lifted directly from an early Victoria Wood standup routine.
It is 1959, Arthur is dead and as his family gather for the wake, there are drunken giggles to be had and secrets to be spilled. They don’t write ‘em like this any more and more’s the bloody pity, for in his debut full length play Michael Kirk together with Gemma Page has captured a slice of British social history, hinting at the incisiveness that once hallmarked the BBC’s Play For Today and which latterly Mike Leigh can occasionally capture on screen.