I Should Be So Lucky The Musical

Reviewer's rating

If you were lucky enough to be a teenager in the Sixties, you got the Beatles and the Stones. In the Seventies, there was ABBA. But for Eighties kids, the dominent soundtrack was Stock, Aitken, and Waterman.

I Should Be So Lucky, a new musical based on the seemingly endless output of the Hit Factory, reminds us how many sounds of our youth came from the SAW stable, with their cheesy lyrics, ear-worm choruses, and pulsing drum beats.

Too Many Broken Hearts, Never Too Late, Step Back In Time, Toy Boy, Especially for You, You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), Respectable, and of course Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up – they’re all there, the sounds of school discos and sticky-floored nightclubs, in those innocent pre-selfie, pre-spiking days.

I am not sure who this musical is aimed at. Just kidding, it’s aimed with laser precision at the audience reflected onstage – gay men, hen do’s, disco divas, people of all ages, shapes and sizes who love to boogie. Debbie Isitt (she of Nativity!) has crafted the narrative. Chekov, it ain’t, and nor is it supposed to be. There’s a jilted bride, a confused groom, a case of mistaken identity, a Dirty Rotten Scoundrels sub-plot, gambling addiction, and too many broken hearts. The basic idea is that the wedding is off, but the honeymoon is on, overseen by the camp concierge Spencer, brilliantly played by Jamie Chapman.

But the convoluted plot plays second fiddle to the world-class singing and dancing, choreographed exuberantly by Strictly’s Jason Gilkison.  There are some wonderful performances from Giovanni Spano as the best man, Lucie-Mae Sumner playing the bride-that-wasn’t Ella, just dripping with talent, and Scott Paige as the flamboyant BF. Imagine a gay James Cordon who can sing and dance. And Kylie. Did I mention Kylie is in it? The diminutive disco diva herself appears as a hologram, giving sage advice to poor, left-at-the-altar Ella.

Special mention to the set and costume designer Tom Rogers for a clever use of the stage, with video projections of sun and sea, and a convincing hot-air balloon basket. The costumes are as glittering and glam as the music.

I saw another reviewer having a go at Debbie Isitt for the bawdy jokes and epic swearing. I thought it was perfectly matched to the subject matter. The entendres are struggling to be double, the language is industrial, the jokes are a right Carry On. This is how real people speak, especially on a cocktail-drenched, sun-kissed Turkish paradise resort.

It adds up to a huge glitterball of fun: Strictly-meets-Barbie-on-steroids. We danced in the aisles, as the glitter canons cascaded around us. Pete Waterman was sitting behind us in the stalls, and the audience queued to congratulate him. I should be so lucky? Luck has nothing to do with it; this is about musical joy and sheer talent.

By: Debbie Isitt, Lucie-Mae Sumner, Billy Roberts, and the ensemble cast
Director and Writer: Debbie Isitt
Venue: New Wimbledon Theatre
Touring through 2024
Running time: 120 minutes