Shout – The Mod Musical is just one of those nice little surprises that you sometimes get going to a show. On the level it is just a short run through some of the hits of the 1960s from the girl singers (although the boys did have hits with some of them too), but on the other level it has just enough time to scratch other social issues.
The method of telling this story is also pretty clever and is enough to raise the show out of being just an hour or so run through “hits of the 60s”.
We meet five young girls who each are known by colours - Orange (Emily Chesterton) Blue (Hayley Hampson), Red (Sarah Folwell), Yellow (Evangeline Pickerel), and Green (Miriam O'Brian). All of the girls are avid readers of “SHOUT THE MAGAZINE”, and we are cleverly introduced to the girls’ personalities and personal problems as they write letters into magazine “Agony Aunt” Gwendolyn Holmes (Katie Tyler) and get back the usual completely out of date with society responses that were common for magazines of the time (and I have a collection of 100s of them to base that statement on). We actually follow these girls through the whole of the main 1960s pop period and get to know how their lives progressed after the 1960s. Maybe the producer will let us follow them up in a 1970s show next year (big hint there).
Miss Yellow does seem to be a bit more of a developed character, and she has a Paul McCartney obsession down to holding a doll of him. There was a Paul doll that was Sindy’s (the doll) boyfriend. Unofficially the doll was meant to be Paul McCartney.
Shout is though mostly about the music and the looks of the period. The visual looks of the girls pretty much were right on the mark for the “modern look”. Somehow though Miss Yellow just seemed to be that little bit sharper in focus.
This show is only a little over an hour, so I do not want to give all the songs away as so much fun of a show like this is “what will they sing?”. All the big stars are covered – Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Petula Clark and Cilla Black.
Two of my favourite songs of all time are covered too – “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” by Dusty Springfield and “You’re My World” by Cilla Black. They are also well covered and these are difficult songs to sing well. It always amuses me a bit though that these two “Classic British” girls’ songs are actually re-workings of Italian songs…iconic British singers, but not British songs.
Also great to hear “To Sir With Love” from Lulu and of course her earlier hit – “Shout”. You really can’t miss with a song like Shout, it is probably one of the greatest R & B covers ever made by a British singer.
All of the cast in this show are great vocally, but they all have different styles and that is good as these songs are sung originally by singers who had such different vocal styles.
The show works, it is on one level just simple listen to the music fun and on another level if you want raises a few questions about the morals and changing behaviour of the period. Also (and very important), it is long enough to tell the story and give us the music, but short enough not to outstay its welcome and turn into karaoke.
Just a fun trip to the theatre and some great songs sung by some talented singers.