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Dreamboats and Petticoats is a jukebox musical based on popular songs from the fifties and early sixties. The musical, featuring those songs of the rock 'n' roll era, is set around the years 1957 to 1963[1] and was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran.

Dreamboats and Petticoats
Dreamboats and Petticoats.jpg
The album cover of the original London cast recording of Dreamboats and Petticoats.
MusicVarious Artists
LyricsVarious Artists
BookLaurence Marks
Maurice Gran
BasisThe compilation album series Dreamboats and Petticoats
Productions2009 UK tour
2009 West End (First run)
2010 West End (Second run)
2010 UK tour
2012 West End (Third run)
2017 UK Tour

It was first performed at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley, England, in February 2009, followed by a UK tour. This run received rave critical reviews[citation needed] and widespread audience acclaim.[citation needed] It subsequently moved to the Savoy Theatre in London's West End from July to September in 2009[2] and then returned to London in a new location at the Playhouse Theatre, where it closed on 4 August 2012. Alongside the West End runs, the show toured the UK extensively, between 2009 and 2014. The current tour is a sequel, entitled Dreamboats And Miniskirts.[3]



It's 1961, where Bobby, an awkward but talented teenager, is auditioning for a band at the local Youth Club. He almost gets the part, but is edged out by a last minute arrival to the auditions: the cool and confident Norman. The teenagers that hang out at Youth Club all know each other, even if they're not necessarily friends. These teens include Bobby and his best friend Ray, Ray's younger sister Laura who has a crush on Bobby, cool girl Sue whom Bobby has a crush on, and Donna, who is Sue's friend.

Bobby's father announces that the Youth Club association is holding the first National song writing competition. Bobby and Laura, who have similar tastes in music, agree to write a song together. At first they make some progress, with Bobby coming up with an idea and basic tune, which Laura takes on to expand into a full song. But Bobby then starts ignoring Laura when Sue, the girl he has a crush on, starts flirting with him. Laura warns Bobby that Sue is only pretending to be into him in order to make Norman jealous, but Bobby doesn't care.

The Youth Club are taken on a road trip to a local carnival, and their emotions run high. Ray and Donna get together and become a couple. Sue's plan to make Norman jealous works, and Norman takes her away to be alone. Bobby is crushed, and Laura tells him "I told you so". However, when the whole group gathers together at the end of night, Norman boasts to the others that he went "all the way" with Sue. Sue is enraged and humiliated, insisting that they only kissed. Bobby confronts Norman, insisting that he apologize to Sue. At first Norman refuses, so Bobby challenges Norman to an "official" fight in a ring, in which Bobby wins. Norman apologizes to Sue, and Sue is ecstatically grateful to Bobby and happily becomes his girl.

Laura tries to remind Bobby about their songwriting commitment but to no avail, since all his time is dedicated to Sue. Norman is also being ignored by Sue, even after apologizing and promising to become better. Norman then approaches Laura, both flirting with her with suggestions that what he really needs is a "good" girl, and that they should write a song together. Bobby is confused and upset when he hears about this from Ray, who also tells Bobby that Laura has had feelings for him for a long time. Bobby and Sue break up when Bobby accidentally causes Sue to fall out his bedroom window, but when he approaches Laura to reconcile, she claims that he only started to notice her because she's started dressing nicer and doing her hair.

Laura's 16th birthday party is held at the Youth Club. She and Sue decide to put the awkwardness between them to the past, and agree to be friends. Norman and Sue reconcile. Bobby and Laura confess their feelings in the locker room, admitting that they've each liked the other for a long time and didn't know what to do about it, and finally kiss.

News comes in from the songwriting competition. Bobby and Laura, who are a team again, have made it to the next round. Norman did not make the cut at all. It then jumps to the final National performance, where Bobby and Laura win with the results of the joint efforts, the pop song "Dreamboats and Petticoats".


After spending several weeks at the number one spot in the UK Compilation Charts and with over two million copies sold of the first album, the unexpected success of Dreamboats and Petticoats CD series made producers of the series to consider a stage musical adaptation. Brian Berg, the managing director of Universal Music TV (UMTV) and director of Universal Music UK, reportedly saw a niche in the market for older audiences who preferred the music of their teenage years in comparison to the seemingly inaccessible youth-driven playlists on current radio stations. Berg saw the adaptation of a stage musical as a move that "would enhance the brand" and therefore got in touch with Bill Kenwright, producer Laurie Mansfield, director Bob Tomson, musical director Keith Strachan, choreographer Carole Todd and writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran to pen the book of the show. He had "the basic idea of youth clubs and nostalgia and a songwriting competition" as the basis of the show because he was a teenager in the sixties who attended a local youth club in Finsbury Park, north London. He added, "As kids growing up in the Sixties we all played in bands, I was a drummer in The Sound Barrier, the greatest unsigned band of the Sixties."[1]


London (2009–2013)Edit

The Savoy Theatre where the musical was first performed in London.

Dreamboats and Petticoats was first performed in London at the Savoy Theatre on 22 July 2009. The run terminated on 31 October 2009 to make way for Legally Blonde.

Role Original 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2016-17
Bobby Scott Bruton Alexis Gerred Scott Bruton David Ribi Ali Higgins
Laura Daisy Wood-Davis Megan Jones Charlotte Jeffery Samantha Dorrance Elizabeth Carter
Norman Ben Freeman Bradley Clarkson Harry Neale Sam Attwater Alastair Hill
Sue Jennifer Biddle Emma Stephens Susannah Allman Susannah Allman Laura Darton
Ray A.J Dean A.J Dean David Gale Rob Eyles David Luke Wilson
Donna Emma Hatton Jess Ellerby Gemma Salter Hannah Wood Gracie Johnson
Older Bobby/Phil David Cardy Jimmy Johnston Des O'Connor David Cardy Jimmy Johnson
Jeremy Andrew Venning ROLE CUT Robbie Durham Robbie Durham Rob Gathercole
Daisy Sophie Byrne Bethany Compson-Bradford Francesca Loren Claire McGarahan Chloe Louisa Jane
Barry Robin Johnson Kris Hudson Kris Hudson Kris Hudson Billy Stookes
Colin Michael Kantola Michael Kantola Michael Kantola Michael Kantola Henry McCooke
Andy Adam Welsh Tim Jackson Joey Hickman Sheridan Lloyd Sheridan Lloyd
Richard Sam Palladio David Ephgrave / Michael Paver Richie Hart Matthew Quinn Jay Osborne
Eric Stuart Ward Alan Howell Alan Howell Alan Howell Alan Howell
Frank/Slugger/Compare Mike Lloyd Mike Lloyd Mike Lloyd Mike Lloyd Mike Lloyd
Babs Wendy Paver Jessica Dyas Jessica Dyas Emily O'keeffe Lauren Chinnery
Derek Patrick Burbridge Patrick Burbridge ROLE CUT ROLE CUT Josh Tye
Helen Deborah Hewwet ROLE CUT CUT
The musical transferred to the Playhouse Theatre in January 2010.

After a three-month hiatus, the musical found a new location at the Playhouse Theatre on 6 January 2010. It closed on 4 August 2012. The 3rd and final London venue for the musical was the Wyndham's Theatre, where it had a limited run, 16 October 2012 to 19 January 2013.[2]

First UK tour (2009)Edit

Opening on 19 February 2009 at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley, Dreamboats and Petticoats had a successful run in theatres across the UK for five months. This tour finished on 18 July 2009 at the Sunderland Empire in Sunderland. Upon finishing, the production, due to heavy demand and unexpected success, moved to the West End for a three-month run. This production, therefore, had the same cast as the original London cast.

Second UK tour (2010)Edit

Again starting at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley, Dreamboats and Petticoats enjoyed another tour of the UK. This time with an alternative cast to the first time. The tour started on 19 January 2010 and played its last performance on 4 December 2010 in Grimsby.

The cast were:[4][failed verification]

Role Jan-Jul Aug-Dec
Bobby Josh Capper Josh Capper
Laura Daniella Bowen Daniella Bowen
Norman Jonathan Bremner Jonathan Bremner
Sue Carolynne Good Francesca Jackson
Ray Gareth Leighton Wayne Smith
Donna Clare Ivory Emily Goodenough
Older Bobby/Phil Anthony Clegg Oliver Beamish
Derek Ben Tolley Tristan Pate
Daisy Bethany Compson-Bradford Claire McGarahan
Barry Daniel Graham Charlie Wade
Colin Chris Coxon Chris Coxon
Andy Tim Jackson Greg Last
Richard Alan Howell Alan Howell
Eric Glen Joseph Glen Joseph
Frank/Slugger/Compare Simon Nock Jem Dobbs
Babs Lauren Storer Jessica Dyas
Jeremy Michael Paver Michael Paver
Swing Katie Pritchard Lauren Morgan

Third UK tour (2011)Edit

A third tour started in June 2011, opening at the Theatre Royal, Windsor.[5]

The cast were:[4][failed verification]

Role June - December January - May 2012 June - December 2012
Bobby David Ribi David Ribi Alexis Gerred/Scott Haining
Laura Samantha Dorrance Samantha Dorrance Liz Carter
Norman Ben James Ellis Ben James Ellis Ben James Ellis
Sue Katie Birtill Robyn Mellor Amy Diamond
Ray Josh Little Dan O'Brien Dan O'Brien
Donna Anna Campkin Anna Campkin Anna Campkin
Older Bobby/Phil Graeme Henderson Terry Winstanley Terry Winstanley
Jeremy Robbie Durham Josef Pitura-Riley Josef Pitura-Riley
Daisy Francesca Loren Tara Nelson Rachel Nottingham
Barry Christopher Wheeler Christopher Wheeler Christopher Wheeler
Richard Matthew Quinn Matthew Quinn Joey Ellis
Colin Chris Coxon Will Tierney Will Tierney
Andy Adam Day Howard Pat Burbridge Pat Burbridge
Eric James Nitti James Nitti James Nitti
Babs Emily O'Keeffe Emma Jane Morton Emma Jane Morton
Derek Tristan Pate Mike Slader Mike Slader
Frank/Slugger/Compare Chris Fry Gavin Barnes Gavin Barnes
Swing Lauren Morgan Rachel Nottingham Chloe Edwards-Wood

2017 UK TourEdit

Again starting at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, Dreamboats and Petticoats enjoyed another tour of the UK. The tour started in January 2017 and played its last performance in Brighton in October.

The cast were:[6]

Role Actor Musician
Bobby Alistair Higgins
Laura Elizabeth Carter
Norman Alastair Hill
Sue Laura Darton
Ray David Luke
Donna Gracie Johnson
Older Bobby/Phil Jimmy Johnston
Derek Josh Tye
Daisy Chloe Edwards-Wood
Barry Billy Stookes
Colin Henry Alexander
Andy Sheridan Lloyd
Richard Jay Osborne
Eric Alan Howell
Frank/Slugger/Compare Mike Lloyd
Babs Lauren Chinnery
Jeremy Rob Gathercole
Swing Stephanie Hackett

Future productionsEdit

Brian Berg, the executive producer for Universal records stated that there are plans for productions in the US and Australia and the possibility of a feature film in 2012.[7] To date, there are no international productions or film productions.

Spin-offs and sequelsEdit

Bill Kenwright, the original producer, has also produced Save The Last Dance For Me and Dreamboats And Miniskirts. Save the Last Dance for Me is a spin-off production which employed a lot of the same creative team and cast, but did not continue the story from Dreamboats and Petticoats.[8] It primarily utilised the songs of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman.[9] Dreamboats and Miniskirts is a sequel that continues the story of Bobby and Laura. Set in 1963 it tells how the band deals with the start of the British Invasion.[10]

A third instalment of the Dreamboats and Petticoats franchise has recently been announced, with Dreamboats and Petticoats - The Christmas Party which will open at the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough at the end of 2015.[11]


Musical numbersEdit


A live cast recording of the original London cast was released on 1 December 2009. It was recorded live, in front of audiences, at the Savoy Theatre.

Critical receptionEdit

The London production received mixed reviews, with most critics concluding that the show was a light-hearted jukebox musical well-suited to an older audience. Quentin Letts at the Daily Mail described Dreamboats and Petticoats as "pacy, as shallow as a paddling pool, and innocent fun – particularly for those who lived through the songs first time round."

Awards and nominationsEdit

Original London productionEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2010 Laurence Olivier Award Best New Musical Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Home of the Daily and Sunday Express | Stage :: Interview with Dreamboats And Petticoats mastermind Brian Berg". 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  2. ^ "Home - Dreamboats and Petticoats". Archived from the original on 2013-01-21.
  3. ^ "The Musical - Dreamboats and Petticoats".
  4. ^ a b Bill Kenwright Ltd presents Dreamboats And petticoats
  5. ^ "Theatre Listings". Dreamboats and Petticoats. Archived from the original on 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  6. ^ "Bill Kenwright Ltd presents Dreamboats And petticoats". Archived from the original on 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  7. ^ Rock and Pop Features. "Dreamboats and Petticoats: Dream Boat That Rocked". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  8. ^ "From Spongebob to square-jawed". The Northern Echo.
  9. ^ "Mort Shuman".
  10. ^ "Bill Kenwright".
  11. ^ [1]

External linksEdit