I Should Be So Lucky

"More than respectable, it's a winner!"

For people of a certain age (including me!), the music of Stock Aitken Waterman remains our musical upbringing and evokes so many happy memories of incredible pop tunes that are still played today and sound as good as ever.  Imagine my delight when I heard the news of a brand-new musical created by Debbie Isitt featuring the songs of one of the worlds most famous pop factories.  It was everything I wanted it to be and more.

Now I will start by saying that if you’re after deep and meaningful theatre, then this show may not be for you, however if you’re after a night of complete fun, and joyous relief, then this is DEFINITELY the show for you!  It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but quite frankly it made me smile from ear to ear, and that’s a wonderful feeling as you leave a show.

The cast for this show is so perfectly cast and offered some wonderful vocal performances.  I must commend Kayla Carter for blowing the roof of The Opera House with her rendition of the Sonia classic ‘You’ll Never Stop Me From Loving You’.  The slowed down version of this pop tune leant itself so well to Kayla’s sensational and powerful voice that it was a real goosebump moment.  Further stand out vocal moments go to Melissa Jacques with ‘Tell Tale Signs’, originally recorded by Kylie Minogue.  This performance was truly superb and showed off Jacques’ incredible range very well.

Now, talking about Kylie Minogue, the pop icon is billed as appearing as herself, not in person I hasten to add, but as a ‘fairy godmother’ type character within a mirror who acts as a confidence coach for Ella (Lucie-Mae Sumner), a bride jilted at the altar.  These moments were cleverly done and for any Kylie fan it’s a treat to see her, if only in digital form.

The story itself, as I mentioned above, centres around a jilted bride, who with the help of her friends and family decide to go on the honeymoon to Turkey despite the failed nuptials.  Lucie-Mae Sumner as Ella provided a confident, polished performance throughout the show. Alongside her groom Nathan, played by Billy Roberts, their chemistry was believable and added to the overall story. Ella’s group of friends consisted of Michael, played with absolute aplomb by Scott Paige, who I could watch all day long as his comic timing is off the chart.  Best friend Bonnie played by Kayla Carter, sister Britney played by Jessica Daley, mother of the bride Shelley played by Melissa Jacques and grandmother of the bride Ivy played by Jemma Churchill, all brought a different set of qualities to their characters and if there was ever a bridal party to be part of, well I choose this one!

This show shoehorns in around 24 Stock Aitken Waterman songs, and at times it did feel like they were just thrown in so the audience could hear as many pop classics as possible.  Maybe cutting a couple of songs might work to make the story flow a bit better.  There are so many witty one liners courtesy of writer Debbie Isitt, who you may know from her work as the creator of the Nativity films/musical.   Debbie has a clever way of making you smile, a true talent in the world of musical theatre.  Yes, it may be silly humour, but let’s face it, we all need that more than ever!

A further stand out performance came from Giovanni Spano as Ash, the Best Man of Nathan who was able to showcase his comical side, especially during a scene in a Turkish Nightclub which has to be seen to be appreciated.  Jamie Chapman as Spencer is an absolute ray of sunshine throughout.  The hotel manager who has a willingness to please is everyone’s best friend and Chapman is his usual brilliant self, especially in those gold sequin shorts!  What a treat! 

There were a couple of moments where the set could have worked a little better.  A moment where a hot air balloon basket was lowered onto the stage behind a curtain that was partially open became visible from where I sat, so the surprise was spoilt before the scene unfolded, but this is easily remedied. 

The ensemble cast worked very well with some intricate and fun choreography by Jason Gilkison who sprinkled his Strictly magic onto the stage.  The energy was high, the atmosphere was great and it really did make you want to join the party.

As jukebox musicals go, this will be a true crowd pleaser.  It’s an evening of musical nostalgia, joyous fun, silliness and smiles.  More than respectable, it’s a winner!

This show was reviewed at The Opera House, Manchester on the 14th November 2023  where it runs until the 25th November 2023.  Tickets available here: I Should Be So Lucky Tickets | Opera House Manchester in Manchester | ATG Tickets

Full tour details can be found here: I Should Be So Lucky | The Stock Aitken Waterman Musical (soluckymusical.com)


Photo credit: Marc Brenner

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