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REVIEW: The Drifters Girl (UK Tour, Glasgow 2024)

10 April 2024

The King's Theatre, Glasgow

⭐⭐⭐⭐


The Drifters Girl - review

Come on over to my place; Come on, we're having a party!


That's what you'll be singing as you leave the slick, stylish and fabulously entertaining new musical, The Drifters Girl.


Telling the story of one of the world's greatest, and most unstable, vocal groups The Drifters and the brilliant woman who made them, The Drifters Girl features hit songs Saturday Night at the Movies, Save the Last Dance for Me, Stand By Me and many, many more.


If you thought The Sugababes had a lot of lineup changes, wait till you hear about The Drifters! With over 60 members swapping in and out over the years, several splinter groups and legal battles, there was so much turmoil surrounding this group it's incredible that they had the success that they did.

Carly Mercedes Dyer in The Drifters Girl. Photo credit: The Other Richard

The Drifters Girl shows us that this success was largely down to the management and oversight of the marvelous Faye Treadwell who fought for three decades to turn Atlantic Records' hottest vocal group into a global phenomenon. Faye was the world's first African American female music manager and here she is played by the phenomenal Carly Mercedes Dyer. I'm not familiar with the 'real' Faye Treadwell but I can only imagine that Dyer gives a fitting tribute. Her voice and stage presence are superb; she brings the house down with every song. She's a shining star.


The Drifters Girl finely balances the story so that we hear from Faye as she fights for control and the rights to The Drifters name, but we also have plenty of sparkling performances from The Drifters themselves (Miles Anthony Daley, Ashford Campbell, Tarik Frimpong and Daniel Haswell).


There is so much story to tell that at points I lost track of who was who and what was going on, and the pace did sag a little in the middle of the first act. But these moments were fleeting and completely negated by the rest of the offering.


The cast are excellent. The four actors who play The Drifters would have you believe that there are 15 of them playing various roles. But no, it's all them. They are just that talented! True triple threats with excellent singing voices, dynamite dance moves and more accents and costume changes than you can shake a stick at. Wow these guys work hard and they are so, so impressive.


Miles Anthony Daley, Ashford Campbell, Tarik Frimpong and Daniel Haswell in The Drifters Girl - UK Tour review. Photo credit: The Other Richard

The music is of course wonderful, and played live by a great orchestra accompanied by the beautiful, soulful voices of the cast, 'The Drifters' performances do feel like we're at one of their concerts. At times, some of the spoken dialogue was drowned out by the sheer volume of the backing music, so the levels could be improved in parts. But during the vocal performances, everything was perfect.


The Drifters Girl has played in London's West End previously and I was thrilled to read that the touring version would be exactly the same as the West End version, but with an added "get up and dance finale." Joy! The producers certainly know what the tour audiences want! And I think that the West End quality is obvious from the sets, lighting, and overall slick staging of this show. I knew instantly that it was Ben Cracknell lighting. The staging from beginning to end is stunning and one of the most impressive I've seen in regional venues. This show looks expensive!


But the soundtrack is ultimately the star of the show. Even if you don't think you know any Drifters songs: You do! Under The Boardwalk, Kissin In The Back Row Of The Movies, Come On Over To My Place - I danced all the way home. Great fun.


⭐⭐⭐⭐


📸 production photos: The Other Richard


The Drifters Girl tickets

(*AD - affiliate links)


The Drifters Girl is at the King's Theatre, Glasgow until Sat 13th April 2024 and then at Edinburgh Playhouse from Tues 30th April until Sat 4th May.


🎟️Tickets: www.atgtickets.com


King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tue 9 – Sat 13 April

Tues-Sat: 7:30 pm Wed, Thu & Sat: 2:30pm www.atgtickets.com/glasgow


Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh

Tue 30 April – Sat 4 May

Tues-Sat: 7:30 pm Wed & Sat: 2:30pm www.atgtickets.com/edinburgh


🌟 Also playing in Glasgow this week: 🌟


The Kite Runner is at the Theatre Royal until Sat 13th April 2024.

🎟️ Tickets here: www.atgtickets.com



 

The Drifters Girl UK Tour review

The Drifters Girl Cast (UK Tour 2024)


Carly Mercedes Dyer, former star of Six the Musical and who delighted audiences with her performances as Erma in Anything Goes, will play music industry change-maker, Faye Treadwell.


Carly will star alongside Ashford Campbell, who hit UK screens in ITV’s The X Factor as member of The Risk, continues his journey with The Drifters Girl having performed as part of the West End company, Miles Anthony Daley (Tina Turner: The Musical, Aldwych Theatre; Choir of Man, Arts Theatre), Tarik Frimpong (The Wiz, Hope Mill Theatre; Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre) and Daniel Haswell (Aint Too Proud, Prince Edward Theatre; The Book of Mormon, UK Tour; Motown: The Musical, UK & Ireland Tour).


The Drifters Girl also welcomes Jaydah Bell-Ricketts (A Little Princess, Royal Festival Hall; School Of Rock, Gillian Lynne Theatre) to her first touring role as Girl.


Completing the cast is Loren Anderson, Tre Copeland-Williams, Ethan Davis, Matthew Dawkins and Linseigh Green.


The Drifters Girl, with a book by Ed Curtis, is based on an idea by Tina Treadwell and is co-created by Beverley Knight, Adam J Bernard, Tarinn Callender, Matt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud. It is directed by Jonathan Church. Set design is by Anthony Ward, choreography by Karen Bruce, costume design by Fay Fullerton, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Tom Marshall, video design by Andrzej Goulding, orchestrations by Chris Egan and Will Stuart as Musical Supervisor.


 

REVIEW: The Drifters Girl (UK Tour) at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, April 2024.


🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange for my time and for writing this review. Neither the venue nor show has a say in what I write. I'm completely independent and review invites do not have any impact on my analysis or star ratings.



📸 Find Lisa in the Theatre on Instagram for more photos and videos.


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

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