This fantastic feel good show stops off on its summer holiday for a break in Milton Keynes this week.
Summer Holiday is set in 1963 and tells the story of four young guys who are fed up holidaying in rainy old England and have dreams of going to sunny France. Sadly they cannot afford to do this on their wages so instead Don has an idea to do up an old London bus and take it to Europe on tour. That way they can live on the bus instead of affording hotels. So they plan to do it in seven days and sure enough they are ready for their holidays. The boys meet some girls (well it is 1963 and romance is in the air) who are stranded as their car has broken down. They agree with a thumbs up to help the girls get to Greece and have adventures along the way including a stowaway who is not what they seem.
This is an absolutely joyful show with everything you would want from Summer Holiday and more. It features some classic Cliff Richard songs without becoming a vehicle for all Cliff songs. The songs were relevant and fitted the story. They included The Young Ones, Living Doll, Do You Wanna Dance?, Bachelor Boy, Move It, In The Country and of course Summer Holiday.
Ray Quinn plays Don and is sensational in the role. He is an absolute star and perfect both in voice and dance. I expected him to sing well but his lovely ‘Cliff Accent’ was a great addition to his acting. He also can dance. And I really mean that. This includes one handed flips. He was just fantastic and the new Cliff for this generation. His love interest is Barbara played by Sophie Matthew and she has an amazing voice. She is absolutely fantastic and delivers a very innocent performance. I very much enjoyed her reactions when Don is showering. Perfect innocence. The boys are:
Steve played by Billy Roberts. Steve loves himself and thinks all the girls do too. Billy pitches this perfectly as it isn’t arrogant but endearing.
Edwin played by Joe Goldie always tries to get things right. He is win to his friends and a reliable friend to boot. Joe plays Win perfectly and is memorable in the role.
Cyril played by Rory Maguire and he is more nervous around girls and is the ‘one in the hat’. Rory is great in the role and really gives Cyril a soft spot that the girls can fall for. The boys all have their individual personalities and quirks to give their characters life.
The girls are Mimsie played by Gabby Antrobus, Angie played by Laura Marie Benson and Alma played by Alice Baker. Better known as Doe Rae Mi, as they are a band (professionals you know!). Again the girls give great performances both individually and performing as Doe Rae Mi.
Barbara’s mother is a formable woman called Stella who has some outfits I wouldn’t mind myself (especially those green velvet trousers). Stella is played by Taryn Sudding and along with her sidekick who is agent Jerry they get most of the best lines in the show. Taryn gives Stella all she needs to be as a strong character, both powerful and a force to be reckoned with. Taryn often steals the show with her presence on stage and I honestly couldn’t take my eyes away from her hair style. Jerry is played by the legendary Bobby Crush and he is excellent as Jerry. The wig, the outfits (especially the dress) and his manner mean Bobby gives Jerry all he needs to be the funny guy in the show. The whole cast are fantastic and I want to give a special mention to William Beckerleg who especially stood out from the ensemble.
I cannot recommend this show highly enough. I love a good feel-good show and this ticks all the boxes. It’s fun. Its sing-a-long and its bountiful in the feel good factor.
Summer Holiday is on at Milton Keynes Theatre until 19 May 2018 and then continues its UK tour. Don’t miss it!