Review by Kathryn Hayden
Purchase your tickets online: www.atgtickets.com/Liverpool
It was opening night at Liverpool Empire Theatre last night for Summer Holiday The Musical based on the hit 60’s film starring Cliff Richard.
Stepping into his shoes last night was Liverpool’s Ray Quinn and I was keen to find out whether he was able to fill them.
The answer is immediately a resounding yes. Ray Quinn, actor, singer, dancer, absolutely does. He’s such an amazing talent and leads the cast superbly in the role of Don. And, oh my goodness, that boy can move. He does a one armed cartwheel before he’s even warmed up!
His character, Don, makes a deal with a transport company to get his hands on a double decker bus for him and his transport mechanic friends – Steve (Billy Roberts), Edwin (Joe Goldie) and Cyril (Rory Maguire) to go on holiday in.
Roping in lots of help to convert the bus in a matter of days, the bus is obviously central to the plot and the boys go off on their journey around Europe in search of some fun.
No theatre show would be the same without some romance and Summer Holiday doesn’t disappoint. Along the way, they meet three girls whose car has broken down in the middle of nowhere – Mimsie (Gabby Antrobus), Alma (Alice Baker) and Angie (Laura Marie Benson). The girls need to get to Athens to perform in a concert so the boys gallantly step in to help.
There’s also a story running concurrently about Barbara (Sophie Matthew) a young American singer, her pushy mother Stella (Taryn Sudding) who wants to control her life as a performer and long-suffering agent Jerry (Bobby Crush). There’s great chemistry between Sudding and Crush and some excellent comedic moments.
Daughter Barbara is desperate to experience life and love for herself and seizes an opportunity to run away and she becomes a stowaway on the bus. When the group find her, they think she’s a boy and over time she becomes close to Don who shares a little more with her than he would want to whilst believing she’s a 14 year old boy.
The show is complete with some of the 60’s biggest songs – Summer Holiday, Bachelor Boy, Living Doll and The Young Ones – and Ray again proves his worth as leading man.
Sadly, there are some sound production issues that come and go throughout the play but hopefully they’ll be sorted for the remaining performances.
The whole cast are clearly very experienced in musical theatre and they are all outstanding. There’s a brilliant rapid-fire comedic speech by Rory Maguire that warrants special mention and Sophie Matthew shines in her role as Barbara.
Book your tickets quick as the show is only on in Liverpool until Saturday!
Summer Holiday The Musical
Venue: Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool L1 1JE
Dates: Wednesday 9th – Saturday 12th May 2018