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REVIEW: I Should Be So Lucky the musical (UK Tour, Glasgow)

12 February 2024

The King's Theatre, Glasgow

⭐⭐⭐⭐


I Should Be So Lucky: the Stock Aitken and Waterman musical (UK Tour) review

Young couple Ella and Nathan's wedding is only the beginning of the story. When their nuptials don't go as planned, we head off on honeymoon for a sun-kissed rom-com sprinkled with pop classics.


It's wonderful to have an new, original British musical touring the UK and Ireland. Featuring ten number one singles and over twenty-five songs from the "Hit Factory", I Should Be So Lucky: The Stock Aitken and Waterman musical may be the ultimate jukebox musical. But is it any good?


Absolutely!


Honestly, I was sceptical. This so very easily could've been a cheap, archaic, cash-in. But it's anything but.


First of all, it looks expensive. The set and costumes by Tom Rogers and lighting from Howard Hudson are stunning. Solid, colourful, sparkling - it may be one of the finest UK tour sets I've seen. The whole show looks opulent, and this reinforces the fact that this is serious production. With very successful projections used to simulate the sky, sea, and beach - the enduring impression is that this show has been created with the utmost thought and care.


Written and directed by Debbie Isitt, perhaps that is to be expected. Isitt's hit film Nativity! was a roaring success when it transferred to the stage. Full of joy and Isitt's trademark humour, I Should Be So Lucky genuinely made me laugh out loud a few times and I can't recall the last time that happened in a theatre. The infectious glee and incredible energy of the cast poured off the stage and into the audience, and the atmosphere in Glasgow's King's Theatre was electric.


Melissa Jacques, Jessica Daley, Jemma Churchill, Kayla Carter, Lucie-Mae Sumner and Scott Paige in I Should Be So Lucky. Photo credit: Marc Brenner

Thankfully, 'I Should Be So Lucky' does not take itself too seriously. The 25 catchy 80's and 90's pop songs are most certainly shoehorned into the narrative, but they never pretend otherwise. It's all done with tongue firmly in cheek. The pivot into the 'Mel and Kim' classic 'Respectable' is the perfect example of how to do it, and had me in stitches. This moment is so successful thanks to the superb comic timing of Scott Paige (Michael) who is a delight through the entire show. Paige is a remarkable comic actor and should be made to go on summer holidays with everyone. It should be part of the package deal.


The hits and the nostalgia keep coming with delicious songs like "Too many broken hearts", "Step back in time", "Especially for you" and "Never gonna give you up" reminding us of a time when pop music was bright, cheery and undeniably camp. With orchestrations and Musical Direction by George Dyer and sound design by Ben Harrison, I found the levels in the auditorium to be perfect, allowing both cast and band to shine.


Making full use of the upbeat and jubilant soundtrack, the choreography from 'Strictly' and Eurovision Creative Director Jason Gilkison is superb. The movement and dance expertly compliments the storyline and elevates the production to another level.


Lucie-Mae Sumner, Billy Roberts and Company in I Should Be So Lucky. Photo credit: Marc Brenner

The company are magnificent with Kayla Carter (Bonnie), Jemma Churchill (Ivy), Melissa Jacques (Shelley) and Matthew Croke (Nadeem) all impressing. Groom and Bestman duo Billy Roberts (Nathan) and Giovanni Spano (Ash) are a brilliant double act, and Spano's vocals are the best in the show. It was a welcome surprise to see Dominic Andersen (my favourite Rocky) appear here as Revel Harrington III in what I assume was some last minute casting, as surely more would've been made of his inclusion. As always, he is brilliant and the dastardly characters of Revel and Britney (Emma Crossley) bring some sublime bitchiness to the otherwise sunny escapades.


Luice-mae Sumner (Ella) is terrific in the lead role. In her hands Ella is modest, believable and the perfect protagonist for the audience to root for. But it was Jamie Chapman's Spencer who stole the show for me. A spectacular character played with untold talent and skill from Chapman. He was undeniably the audience favourite and rightly so. An unforgettable comic turn.


Let's not forget mega-star Kylie Minogue who appears digitally in mirrors as a sort of pop fairy godmother / Jiminy Cricket hybrid. Of course it's a gimmick to have her in the show at all, but after a career spanning more than three decades which was launched by some very successful SAW collaborations, she's the perfect pop princess to have looking over the shoulder of our disheartened heroine.


Jemma Churchill, Kayla Carter, Lucie-Mae Sumner, Jamie Chapman, Melissa Jacques, Jessica Daley and Scott Paige in I Should Be So Lucky. Photo credit: Marc Brenner

Not all sunshine and giggles, I was a little uneasy with some of the Turkish accents and stereotypes that seemed to be played for laughs; I thought we had moved on from that. And despite the book brimming with songs, there were a lot of plotlines woven into the mix too. The narrative did feel a little over-complicated with so many characters and side stories when, on the whole, the audience just wanted the next song. I thought some of the vocals early in the first act were a little ropey, but any concerns I had were quickly put to bed, as the cast more than made up for it later on.


I Should Be So Lucky knows that it is a jukebox musical and there isn't a weak song in the soundtrack. It's a vehicle for the Stock, Aitken and Waterman back catalogue rather than anything original or life changing, but if the aim is to bring an exquisitely produced show, nostalgic music and joy to UK theatres this winter, then it has wholeheartedly succeeded.


If you're looking for a light-hearted, upbeat night at the theatre that will have you dancing all the way home, this is it!

⭐⭐⭐⭐


📸 production photos: Marc Brenner


The Company of I Should Be So Lucky the musical. Photo credit: Marc Brenner

 

I Should Be So Lucky the musical UK Tour CAST


Bringing together the West End’s finest talent, the full cast of the musical includes Kayla Carter (The Color Purple, Bedknobs and Broomsticks) as Bonnie, Jamie Chapman (Nativity! The Musical, The Mousetrap) as Spencer, Jemma Churchill (Guys and Dolls, Nativity! THe Musical) as Ivy, Matthew Croke (Wicked, Aladdin) as Nadeem, Jessica Daley (Mamma Mia!, Les Miserables) as Britney, Gary Davis (Annie, Oklahoma!) as Big Mike, Melissa Jacques (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Mamma Mia!) as Shelley, Scott Paige (The Great British Bake Off Musical, Made in Dagenham) as Michael, Billy Roberts (Rock of Ages, Titanic The Musical) as Nathan, Giovanni Spanò (Jesus Christ Superstar, Bat Out of Hell) as Ash, Lucie-Mae Sumner (Mary Poppins, Guys and Dolls) as Ella and Anna Unwin (Aspects of Love) as Olivia. The cast is completed by Dominic Andersen, Tegan Bannister, Laura Benazaize, Ralph Bogard, Elliot Broadfoot, Emma Crossley, Kade Ferraiolo, Sydney Isitt-Ager, Joe Kelly, Aidan Nightingale, James Willoughby Moore, Lauren Woolf and Louie Wood.


Plus Kylie Minogue who appears digitally as herself!


 


I Should Be So Lucky the musical UK Tour Dates


AD - some links are affiliate links:


I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY: THE STOCK AITKEN WATERMAN MUSICAL

THE KING’S THEATRE, GLASGOW

12 – 17 Feb 2024

Mon – Sat: 7:30pm

Wed & Sat: 2:30pm


🎟️ Tickets from £13 (plus fees)



💗 All venues and more info: https://soluckymusical.com/tour-venues/


Lucie-Mae Sumner and Company of I Should Be So Lucky. Photo credit: Marc Brenner

 

THE WEDDING’S OFF, BUT THE HONEYMOON IS ON! Head from the aisle to the isles in the official Stock Aitken Waterman musical featuring the soundtrack of a generation with music from pop royalty including Kylie Minogue (I Should Be So Lucky), Rick Astley (Never Gonna Give You Up), Jason Donovan (Too Many Broken Hearts) and Bananarama (Love In The First Degree). I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY: THE STOCK AITKEN WATERMAN MUSICAL features no less than 10 Number 1 singles and over 25 songs from the Hit Factory whose music defined an era. Ella and Nathan, a young couple, hopelessly in love and about to take the biggest step of their lives – marriage. Until it doesn’t go quite to plan. Will they be together forever, or will he make her cry and say goodbye?


I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY: THE STOCK AITKEN WATERMAN MUSICAL is written and directed by Debbie Isitt (the hit NATIVITY! franchise), choreographed by Jason Gilkison (Creative Director of Strictly Come Dancing and Eurovision 2023), with orchestrations and musical direction by George Dyer, set and costume design by Tom Rogers, lighting design by Howard Hudson, sound design by Ben Harrison, casting by Anne Vosser and production management by Simon Marlow. It is produced by Ambassador Theatre Group Productions and Gavin Kalin Productions.


 

🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange. Whether I am invited or not has absolutely no impact on my reviews or star ratings.



📸 Find Lisa in the Theatre on Instagram for lots of photos, videos and fun stagey content


REVIEW: I Should Be So Lucky: the Stock Aitken and Waterman musical (UK Tour, Glasgow)


Lisa in the theatre. Scottish theatre reviewer. UK theatre blog. Glasgow Theatre. Edinburgh Theatre. Scotland theatre.

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