WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
A no-holds barred tale of the 60s singing sensation, Dusty Springfield. She of memorable songs like, Wishin’ and Hopin’, I Only Want to be With You, Son of a Preacher Man and so many more iconic hits. This is definitely memory lane stuff for this audience. Expect all the hits and a reminder of the pop-tastic days of the Sixties – but be prepared for a tragic tale; this is more than just jangly jukebox theatre.
WHO’S IN IT?
Katherine Kingsley is Dusty. And she is a mighty big-voiced, black-eyed, beehive-balancing powerhouse of a Dusty. Mesmerising to watch with a voice that leaves you tingling. Great vocal control and physically she’s clearly studied her subject to the last detail to capture the essence of this troubled singer, wracked with insecurity all her life, yet in possession of one of the most memorable voices ever recorded. She is without doubt the star of the show, but supported by a fine cast – with Rufus Hound as manager Billings and Roberta Taylor as her critical mother. There’s masses of energy from the team of dancers and singers and a great band to accompany.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT?
The story is a surprise. It’s more than a nostalgia fest. It’s the story of a life of turmoil – Dusty’s sexuality plays a big part in the story in candid scenes of seduction with her lover Lois, played by Joanne Francis, a highlight being a gorgeous version of The Look of Love.
We discover an insecure perfectionist of a Dusty, who fell in love with soul music and brought a unique sound to the charts. As one line says; ‘she wanted to be black’. A woman of principle who was deported from South Africa for refusing to play for segregated audiences.
A woman who recorded songs in the bathroom because the acoustics sounded better. And someone who found herself in the mire of drinks and drugs for too long, never realising how much she was admired by her fans and respected by her peers.
The show features the best of Dusty’s hits, cleverly presented rather than just reeled out for effect. It defines the eras well with great choreography – particularly the ‘comeback’ song, What Have I Done to Deserve This? by the Pet Shop Boys. A joyful electro-pop triumph.
There’s also definitely a tearful and tingling moment when, after original footage of Dusty’s funeral, our star glides back on stage to give us the soaring You Don’t Have to Say you Love Me. There’s a lot of love from this audience and a genuine feel-good moment.
WHO SHOULD SEE IT?
Dusty fans, naturally. But this is also a singer said to have inspired the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse. Dusty’s troubled soul and personal struggles might have been blamed on the times she lived in – but some things don’t change.
WHEN IS IT ON?
Now, until Saturday 21 July 2018.