Son Of a Preacher Man – New Wimbledon Theatre
We had the pleasure yet again of being invited to the New Wimbledon Theatre to see the touring production of ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ featuring the songs of Dusty Springfield.
Three different stories of heartbreak and love Alison (Debra Stephenson), Kat (Diana Vickers) and Paul (Michael Howe) reminisce through personal experience or stories they have heard of the good old Music Store in Soho called The Preacher.
It is these thoughts that make each to decide to make a pilgrimage to the store to see ‘The Preacher Man’ who had a reputation for great knowledge and advice as well as owning the best record store around playing the best hits including mostly Dusty Springfield, to see if he could help them through the tough times they were experiencing. Paul – who still yearns for the boy he met at the Preacher Mans Record shop all those years ago, Alsion – A widow who has these feelings for a student of hers and finally Kat – A young lady who has fallen head over heels for the guy she met on a dating website and planned her whole future with only to have her profile rejected by him.
The three from different backgrounds all bump into each other at the address of the record shop to discover it is long gone and is but now a coffee shop run by the Preacher Mans Son Simon (Ian Reddington) and his band of Cappuccino girls. It is this character they convince to fix their problems for them. So Simon sets off on a mission through various means to right the wrongs and attempts to give everyone a happy ever after, only after some divine intervention from his father.
This musical is one that has been written based on the songs of Dusty Springfield. So as written above do not expect the life story of Dusty. This is a celebration of her songs and a few others chucked in and so you should be a fan if you are going to watch this. Of course as with every successful artist there will be songs that everyone has heard, ‘The look of Love’, ‘Nowhere to run’,’Spooky’,’Anyone who had a heart’, ‘You don’t have to say you love me’ and the obvious ‘Son of a preacher man’!
Although the story had been based around the four characters predominantly the whole cast had been utilised to its full extent and therefore also had a chance to show off their obvious talent. Lewis Kidd played the lovelorn teen well, Liam Vincent-Kilbride the apparent cocky boyfriend to be excellently and Ellie-Jane Goddard impressed with the latter particular standing out for her voice.
The coffee shops ‘Cappuccino Sisters’ also were entertaining to watch, sexy and sassy pitching in with their songs kept us entertained throughout the show.
Diana Vickers was beautiful, playing the role of Kat to perfection. Giving us sassy attitude when needed, Love sick puppy at other times and the distinctive voice we all came to love on the X Factor. How Diana has developed since those days also, experienced now in theatre she looks comfortable and is a natural actress.
Debra Stephenson looking gorgeous, better known for her impressions and coronation street character was mature, elegant and graced us with a fabulous singing voice again with a natural presence on stage. Debra shone for me most out of all the cast.
Ian Reddington the shy reserved ‘Son of a preacher man’ being thrust into an uncomfortable position, felling like he must do something out of debt and honour to his fathers reputation to go and help these people searching for answers, gave us a comical and endearing reaction to his efforts.
Finally Michael Howe – The eldest, who had experienced the ‘preacher Man shop personally, who encourages everyone to continue their search for happiness and to find resolution to his own story was fun and enjoyable to watch.
This is an enjoyable and fun show to watch and although I wasn’t a previous fan of Dusty Springfield, it had more than enough in song, dance and storyline to keep me entertained from start to finish. Sadly I think I had partook in a slightly reserved audience and didn’t think that the cast got the ovation at the end it deserved.