I Should Be So Lucky

Book by Debbie Isitt, music & lyrics by Stock Aitken Waterman
Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Robin Deller for Imagine Cruising & Aleri Entertainment and George Ward for Groove International, The Mirvish Group & John Frost for Crossroads Live
The Lyric, Theatre Royal Plymouth

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Lucie-Mae Sumner, Billy Roberts and Matthew Croke Credit: Marc Brenner
Lucie-Mae Sumner, Billy Roberts and Ensemble Credit: Marc Brenner
Giovanni Spanò, Billy Roberts and Kayla Carter Credit: Marc Brenner

I’m afraid I didn’t feel so very lucky to experience the Stock Aitken and Waterman huge slice of cheese.

It is only fair to say this—musical + 80/90s pop + romobviouscom—isn’t my cup of tea at the best of times, however some very talented actors seem to have been short-changed with Debbie Isitt’s flimsy, trite script and Jason Gilkison’s clunky choreography.

Initially, all seemed to be an ironic, tongue-firmly-in-cheek prod at the 80/90s superficiality but…

Tom Rogers’s heart-themed set provides the backdrop for demure-til-drunk Kylie fan Ella (nicely played by a very competent Lucie-Mae Sumner: Titanic The Musical; Mary Poppins) to be jilted at the altar and be dragged off on the expensive honeymoon by a posse of boisterous family members and friends.

Melissa Jacques (Kinky Boots, 42 Balloons) is mum Shelley who fancies a Shirley Valentine-ish escape of her own; Jemma Churchill (Nativity! The Musical; Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present) is a vagazzled, raucous gran on the pull, while sister Britney (Jessica Daley: Les Mis; An Officer and A Gentleman) has a gambling habit and (someone else’s) husband issues of her own.

Fabulous-voiced Kayla Carter (The Colour Purple; Bedknobs and Broomsticks) is lovelorn best friend and bridesmaid Bonnie resigned to never getting her man; Elliot Broadfoot (Annie Get Your Gun; Of Mice and Men) hams it up beautifully as gay best friend Michael, while Ms Minogue herself shimmers as a hologram, dishing out advice to our heartbroken protagonist.

Meanwhile on Team Stag, Billy Roberts (Rock of Ages, Titanic The Musical) is reluctant groom Nathan, who quickly realises he should have never listened to once-upon-a-time Lothario grandad whose memory isn’t what it used to be, but chisel-featured best man Ash (X Factor series 15’s Giovanni Spanò) has a cunning plan to go get the girl.

Add a heartthrob tour guide (Mathew Croke: All Star Musicals 2019 and 2022), who may or may not be as full of hot air as the balloon available for canoodling; kindly camp hotel manager Spencer (Jamie Chapman: Nativity! The Musical; Joking Apart), whose Kylie-esque hot pants are a highlight; scammers, belly dancing, fuming father, a ton of vol au vents, Gate 69, blow-up palm trees, Turkish masseur and cocktails—and the stage is set for the romantic mission seemingly impossible.

There are some fun moments—the disco disguises spring to mind—but this is a jukebox show and the book is written around the hits which come thick and fast—and this cast does them proud. Some 24 mainly Stock Aitken Waterman written and produced numbers (including the eponymous “I Should Be So Lucky”, “Together Forever”, “Venus”, “Especially For You” and “Never Gonna Give You Up”) delight the eager audience, and there is indeed bopping in the aisles during a great encore with the cast released from the set routines to show they really can dance too.

Frivolous, frantic and flimsy but clearly enjoyed by most.

Reviewer: Karen Bussell

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