Shout! The New Swinging 60's Musical - Review

Shout! The Musical: 
Norwich Theatre Royal
by Peter Walsh

The swinging 60s was renowned for great music, and Shout! is a celebration of a decade of super sounds and even shorter skirts.

Former Emmerdale actress Claire Sweeney plays lead character Ruby - a good time girl up for a great time with gorgeous guys and girls. 

She hangs out with the likes of Betty (Shona White) - whose dream is to marry her sweetheart Dave - and Georgina (Donna Steele) who wants to be an actress.

And then there is Yvonne (Su Pollard), owner of the hairdressing salon Best Cuts and undoubted star of the show which follows all four characters through the decade.

From the first moment the audience said Hi-De-Hi to Yvonne, to her singing finale, she was a delight. A piece of her costume fell off during her opening number but, unperturbed, she carried on, bending down to pick it up and put it in her pocket without faltering on a single note - a consummate professional.

But as you might expect she was also funny and had most of the laugh-out-loud moments. She might have had them all were it not for the man (Howard Jones), whose cameo appearances in a range of brilliantly non PC advertisements were a complete joy.

Sweeney was on song and hit all the right notes, but it was Shona White as Betty who took the plaudits for best singer on the night.

By the end, a medley of 60s' hits had the crowd on their feet and, although not completely full, the theatre was jumping.

Perhaps the only disappointment was that there were not more sounds of the 60s. But that apart it was a night of nostalgia not to be missed.

Norwich Evening News
March 2008