Swinging Sixties sequel to musical phenomenon

Elizabeth Carter as Laura in Dreamboats and Miniskirts
Elizabeth Carter as Laura in Dreamboats and Miniskirts
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In the early 1960s, miniskirts were the order of the day - and for fans of nostalgia, there’s a trip down memory lane at the Grand Theatre this week.

A follow-up to the hugely successful Dreamboats And Petticoats, Dreamboats And Miniskirts opens tonight.

Elizabeth Carter returns in the cast, in the lead role of Laura, a part she first played in the original Petticoats tour.

With her boyfriend Bobby, Laura hit the top of the charts, but in Miniskirts times’s moved on, it’s 1963 and they’re struggling to recreate the same level of success.

“It’s three years on and music is shifting gear, and they’re struggling with that,” Elizabeth said. “Laura is going into a girl power era, with people like Twiggy and Lulu, while Bobby’s going off with the youth club boys, and they go their different ways.”

Dreamboats And Petticoats opened in 2009, and has gone on to play to more than two million people across the UK.

It was inspired by the multi-million selling album series of the same name, featuring all the hits of the era.

Dreamboats And Miniskirts hit the road in July last year, and is following in the same vein of popularity, with hits that feature including Twist And Shout, Handy Man, Pretty Woman, One Fine Day and many more.

“It has been lovely to come back to Laura,” Elizabeth said. “It was a real treat to take her on three years later, in real life and on stage.

“I particularly like her as a character in this one, as she’s growing into her own shoes, and that’s an exciting time in anyone’s life, as well as being exciting in history.

“It’s good to be able to express that, and at a time when music was so incredible and women were making their mark.”

Much of the shows’ popularity has been based on the nostalgia of the periods, which provides as much of a highlight for the cast as the audience, according to Elizabeth.

“I have seen couples watching it, holding hands and looking at each other crying, and it really means something to those people,” she said.

“That’s rare as a performer, to get people so connecting so well. It’s something that’s a joy and a real treat.”

* Dreamboats And Miniskirts, Grand Theatre, until Saturday. Call (01253) 290190.