Music the greatest leveller of all

Impresario and arguably Britain's best known Evertonian Bill Kenwright is one of the best ambassadors Blackpool has - and underpins that belief with a string of hit plays and musicals heading our way.

Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 10:38 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2016, 11:43 am
Antony Costa in Save the Last Dance for Me
Antony Costa in Save the Last Dance for Me

That’s down to his own love of the town, born of an age when he came here to hear the greats of pop and rock perform.

Blackpool, he says, is ‘in the blood - in my DNA.”

You get a sense of director Kenwright’s enduring commitment to the 60s in Save The Last Dance For Me at the Opera House, Blackpool, until Saturday.

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It stars Antony Costa in that he’s the ‘name’ in the cast, the lad who used to be in boy band Blue, now singing the songs his parents - and more likely his grandparents - loved.

But in truth it’s an ensemble affair with some stand out performances, Sackie Osakonor as Rufus, super versatile Rachel Nottingham and Kieran Kuypers, Jason Denton and more.

But pretty much all are superb singers. Or musicians.

While the accents may occasionally jar in the heightened acoustics - particularly for those closer to the stage - the vocals don’t and had an opening night audience on their feet and calling for more. The storyline is flimsy, effectively a vehicle for stringing great Pomus and Shuman songs together and makes no pretensions to be otherwise, touching on some of the issues of age but hardly searing social commentary. Essentially the message is music is one of the greatest levellers of all, and certainly more than most.

And this music still has the power to move, shake, rattle and roll even in a staged ‘Lowestoft’ that makes Knott End look hip, hot and happening.

Jacqui Morley