Review: Jackie The Musical
Graham Clark, Features Writer
If you are a male reading this can I urge you to read on and even suggest you take your wife or partner to see this excellent musical, especially if she has happy memories of rushing to the newsagent every Thursday to pick up her copy of the magazine Jackie. If you are a female reading this then you need no encouragement to experience one of the best nights you will have had out in months.
The magazine had its heyday in the early to mid 1970's and though the production is set in the present the songs are from artists such as T Rex, The Osmonds, David Cassidy, David Essex, Mud and even Barry Blue (you will remember Dancing on a Saturday Night when it is performed by the energetic cast).
Jackie (Janet Dibley) is divorced from her husband John (Graham Bickley) her only company is her son David (Michael Hamway) and her best friend the pushy Jill (Lori Haley Fox). Jackie is clearing out the loft and comes across a box of old Jackie magazines. She starts to reminisce and then the younger version of Jackie from the 70's arrives on the stage. Played with innocence and charm by Daisy Steere, the young Jackie has some catching up to do with technology. When the present day Jackie gets out her laptop (to go on a dating site naturally) the bemused young version of Jackie looks on in amazement "it's like a typewriter" she says. Wait till she sees a mobile phone! With her advice that the young Jackie gives the older version she tries to steer her away from trouble.
When a blind date is set up between Jackie and a man (Max played by Nicholas Bailey), she inadvertently phones on her mobile and uses the valuable lessons she learnt through the magazine as a teenager.
Tricia Adele Turner plays Gemma, the new girlfriend of Jackie's ex husband. Jackie refers to her as Gemma the horse "because she laughs like a horse" which she does, but only in the first few scenes. I got the feeling that they wrote the laughing like a horse bit as a link to sing the Osmonds hit, Crazy Horses where the Arlene Phillips choreography mimics horses with their hooves. It has to be said that the dancing was superb and they even copy the Tiger Feet dance that you remember Mud performing on Top of the Pops all those years ago.
The script is witty and there are some great one liners "All the men I meet on these dating sites are either bald, fat or past it" sighs Jackie. You could almost feel the fifty something females in the audience sympathising with Jackie as she handles her hapless ex and newly found boyfriend.
The music is typical of the era although I would have thought that at least one Bay City Rollers song could have been included as the band were mainstays of the magazine at their peak and typical of the period.
Personally I loved it, it did remind me a little of Mama Mia and both musicals have that feel good factor about them. It would be a shame if this jubilant musical vanished into thin air like the magazine Jackie did because it deserves to be a success, it could, in time become a cult classic such as the Priscilla musical.
With all the songs performed throughout the night sung again as a medley at the end, the audience were up on their feet. If you want a good night out and to forget any of your troubles, you will not find a better tonic than this uplifting show stopper.
Review: Jackie The Musical, 30th March 2016, 22:00 PM