Musical magic of the 60s

Bill Kenwright production of'SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME'by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran'directed by Bill Kenwright and Keith Strachan
Bill Kenwright production of'SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME'by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran'directed by Bill Kenwright and Keith Strachan

The writers, producers, creators and director of Dreamboats And Petticoats, have teamed up once again to create Save The Last Dance For Me which visits Worthing from Monday April 30 – Saturday May 5.

The new musical, which takes audiences on a theatrical journey back to the music and magic of the early 60s, has been written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran whose TV credits include Goodnight Sweetheart, Birds of a Feather and Shine on Harvey Moon.

Maurice admits the huge success of Dreamboats has thoroughly spoilt them: “We can’t always assume it is going to be like this in musical theatre!”

But certainly the theatre brings enduring pleasures. As Maurice says, theatre is the real ale of the business; TV is the lager: “The theatre is different every night while TV is in the can!”

With TV you’ll get audiences sitting there resenting paying their licence fee; with the theatre you’ve got thousands who have actually chosen to be there.

“And I am not claiming anything Messianic here, but you really do get people casting aside their sticks and getting up on their feet!”

The musical, which has been directed by Bill Kenwright and Keith Strachan, tells the story of two teenage sisters in the summer of 1963 who take their first holiday without their parents to a seaside resort.

The sisters meet a handsome young American who invites them to a dance at the local US Air force base. Amid the thrill of holiday romance, the sisters soon realise that while the world around them is still watching in black and white, life and love can be much more vibrant.

The story is woven into a rock ‘n’ roll show featuring classic hits by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman including A Teenager in Love, Here I Go Again, Viva Las Vegas, Sweets for My Sweet and the title track Save the Last Dance for Me.

As Maurice says, with Dreamboats they had the huge success of the Dreamboats albums to tap into, plus a choice of around 500 songs.

Last Dance is something perhaps in a similar vein, but with a much more restricted range of songs to choose from. For Maurice and Laurence, it was important that they didn’t just repeat Dreamboats: “With this, it’s a meatier story.”

But if there were ever a chance to revisit the Dreamboats characters two or three years on, Maurice would leap at it - not that anyone has asked yet. There has been no need. Dreamboats is still touring strongly and already booking into next year.

Tickets on 01903 206206 or www.worthingtheatres.co.uk.