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REVIEW: The Marvellous Wonderettes at Theatre Royal Windsor

Victoria Higton

REVIEW: The Best Man at the Theatre Royal Windsor

A Jukebox jamboree of the 1950s and 60s.

This sweet, sugar-coated musical will take you on a trip down memory lane to The Springfield High School where we meet The Marvellous Wonderettes.  Four girls with desires and dreams as big as their fabulous voices.  

In Act 1, The Wonderettes have a chance to perform as a replacement act at their school Prom and they rock the house with their perfect pitch and their comic timing. 

Each song reflects the girls’ love lives (or lack thereof) and relationships with each other, and are sung with such sincerity, passion and humour that, despite little dialogue, take the audience on a musical journey that gradually unfolds their hopes and aspirations.

In Act 1, set in 1958, we hear such songs as Mr. Sandman, Lollipop, Lipstick on your Collar, Secret Love (emotionally and stunningly performed by Missy (Sophie Camble) whose voice reaches amazing heights), Goodnight Sweet Heart and many more.    Each song arranged fabulously by Roger Bean (Writer and Creator of The Marvellous Wonderettes).   The final song of Act 1, Hold me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me performed by the magnificent Suzy, (Kara Taylor Alberts) was a stunning rendition. 

The story line is simplistic. The point, however, is not the plot but the energy.  The hilarious rivalry between Betty Jean (Louise Young) and Cindy Lou (Rosie Needham) becomes apparent early on and involves some hysterical audience participation. 

In Act 2, ten years have passed and The Wonderettes have a reunion. And if it’s possible, the songs and performances in this Act are yet more impressive.   Classic and brilliant, such as Heatwave, It’s in his Kiss, Wedding Bell Blues, Son of a Preacher Man, Leader of the Pack, Rescue Me and Respect. 

The era is also at the heart of the show.  From the array of vibrant swing dresses to the bold leather jackets, the costumes are a fitting tribute to the 1950s and 60s.  

As a musical packed with such iconic numbers, no audience can fail to enjoy this eclectic mix performed and choreographed almost to perfection. A treat for the whole family.  Taking my 10 year old son with me was perhaps a risk, but he loved it as much as the older ladies in the audience who were singing and moving in their seats throughout

As whole, it looks just right (Iona Holland, Choreographer and Emily Bestow, Costume designer), sounds just right (Lauren Ronan, Musical Director and The Marvellous Band) and feels just right (Roger Bean, Writer and Joseph Hodges , Director).

You will love the warm, witty, wacky, wonderful Wonderettes who are a roly- poly bundle of joy and simply dreamy. 

For a night of endless fun, jiving and humour, show some Respect, and go to the tremendous Theatre Royal, Windsor and hear the fab four Marvellous Wonderettes.

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