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Son of a Preacher Man
February 20th - February 24th
Three broken hearts, one Soho hang-out, and the only man who could ever help them…
Welcome to the Preacher Man, the swinging 1960s Soho joint where the kids danced the night away to the latest crazes and dared to dream of love, while the legendary owner, The Preacher Man himself, dispensed advice to cure the loneliest of hearts.
Only, that was a long time ago and all that remains are the memories, the stories and the myths. Until now, that is, when three random strangers, generations apart but all in need of help with their hopeless love lives, are inexplicably drawn to the site of the original venue. The Preacher Man is long gone, but his son, with help from the wonderful Cappuccino Sisters, might just find it in himself to channel the spirit of The Preacher Man and once more give these three lovesick strangers the look of love.
Featuring the greatest hits of Dusty Springfield, including “The Look Of Love”, “I Only Want To Be With You”, “Spooky” and of course, the classic “Son Of A Preacher Man”, this sparklingly funny and sweetly touching new musical play by internationally-renowned writer Warner Brown will have you laughing, crying and singing your heart out to some of the greatest songs ever written.
Directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood and starring Debra Stephenson (The Impressions Show, Bad Girls, Coronation Street) and Alice Barlow (Hollyoaks, Drifters), Son of a Preacher Man comes to Malvern for one week only. So you know just what to do with yourself – book your tickets now!
Ticket price includes a £1 contribution to our heritage fund.
It's been a long time coming but finally we have a musical about one of the most under-rated of British stars of the last 50 years, Dusty Springfield. Son Of A Preacher Man is not, however, the story of Dusty's career - rather it is a fictional narrative set to some of her best-known songs. The show's title is taken from her Dusty in Memphis album track, which she declared to be "an over-rated classic", a comment which luminaries such as Elvis Costello and The Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant strongly disagree with.
And so it is that we are in the current age looking back at the 60's via three generations of lovers of her music, each of whom are also now looking for love themselves. Paul (Michael Howe - barrister Mr Wilson in Hollyoaks) spent his youth as a shy gay lad at the record store in Soho run by The Preacher Man, Alison (Debra Stephenson - impressionist on shows such as Dead Ringers and Newzoids) recently widowed and involved with one of her young students and Kat (Coronation Street's Nancy, Alice Barlow) who was introduced to the music by her late grandmother - they all have their reasons to question their love lives.
The Preacher Man shop is no more, having being bought out and transformed into a coffee shop run by his son Simon (Eastenders and Coronation Street's Ian Reddington) and these three strangers, brought together by coincidence still hope to find the type of advice dispensed by his father, The Preacher Man. The onus therefore falls to the son to impart words of wisdom and indeed to make it happen.
Dusty's classic tunes are very neatly fitted into the narrative, all of them shared amongst the cast members in duos or multi-member melodies so no one person is "being" Dusty. All of which leads to some excellent renditions of hits such as Spooky, I just don't know what to do with myself, The look of love, Anyone who had a heart and, of course, the title song itself.
This is one of those musicals where the cast have to multi-task - not just singing, dancing and acting but, for 11 out of the 14 on stage, play instruments at the same time. And for cellist Liam Vincent-Kilbride, the opportunity to play the part of eye candy plumber in a kilt!
With dance routines choreographed by the show's director Craig Revel-Horwood, you expect some high quality dance interpretations alongside the singing and that is what you get, and with much of the music being played live on stage by the talented musicians, the elements all come together nicely in a show which will be loved by those who love the songs which Dusty performed.
Whilst some parts of the spoken sections are rather clunky and could do with being tightened up a bit, the show is of course about the songs, the music and the legacy which Dusty - one of the few singers referred to only by her first name - has left and after the very impressive finale, the audience certainly departed happy and humming the tunes on the way out.
Well what can I say it was terrible we drove with friends from the Forest of Dean to be bitterly disappointed. A complete insult to Dusty Springfield. Avoid at all cost.
Had to leave in the interval ...dusty must be turning in her grave. Awful story and amateurish acting. Michael Howe was cheesy ham! And I'm not sure what Debra Stephenson was doing in it at all! It could have been so good when you think of all the brilliant songs Dusty had. So disappointing ...i had to listen to the real thing on the way home just to get the sound out of my head
It is nearly 24 hours since I watched this show and I am still in a state of shock at the terrible plot. A complete waste of time and money.
What a load of garbage. I would have been happy to just sit back and listen to Dusty's music played by the wonderful band. The story-line was completely unbelievable!!! This was a fallacy and embarrassing to watch. People left at half time and I was tempted but having spent £29 and also the extra amount that the theatre adds on to the price which brought it to over £32 I was determined to sit through the rubbish till the bitter end.
We thoroughly enjoyed this production and highly recommend it. It was such a feel good show with a brilliant very talented cast.
I am only giving 1 star as 0 was not an option. Disappointing to say the least. I felt like I was at a school production. A potentially talented cast is let down by the terrible story and awful costumes. Having the musicians on stage felt really odd! Have them there if it adds to the story otherwise leave them in the pit where they are happiest!! By all means come and watch this if you fancy a laugh but otherwise I would avoid!
Absolutely amazing would see over and over again.
Thoroughly enjoyed the show how modern love stories were told and the lyrics of dusty Springfield songs were so relevent now as they probably were back then. Cast were brilliant
One of the most enjoyable shows we have seen for a long time, such a "feel good show" .Last night ( Thursday) there was a well deserved standing ovation. for a cast that enjoyed being on stage !!
Enjoyed this show and a standing ovation at the end must mean I wasn't the only one to enjoy it
The biggest waste of money I have ever spent. It is not worthy of 1 star more -10, it was appalling. Embarrassing and cringe worthy, we left during the interval. A nursery nativity is more professional than this.... were the hell did the clothes come from ? A joke shop. If I could have a full refund I'd ask for it. The last show we watched was Billy Elliot in
Birmingham and that was truly amazing. Son of a Preacher Man was awful, l couldn't wait to get home to watch Casulty on the TV as I'd already watched the 1st part of casualty in Malvern.
The whole family loved it. A sell out, great atmosphere, and a standing ovation for the last song. A birthday treat, we all went home happy.
It was cheesy, it was implausible, BUT!, suspend all you know about reality and it is brilliant. I confess, the first 20 minutes we thought "what have we let ourselves in for?", however, there is a turning point after a while when you realise how multi talented the cast are. They sing beautifully, they act, they play instruments, they dance (admittedly some better than others), but this must have been a casting nightmare to find such a group of people who could do it all. Yes there are parts that can be a little cringe worthy, but for us, we grew to enjoy it more and more, particularly in the second half and at the final curtain there was a well deserved standing ovation, in my experience, a rare event in Malvern. I think this is a Marmite event, and whilst there could be areas of improvement, we were delighted to have seen it.