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Save The Last Dance For Me, King's theatre, Edinburgh

Following the success of Dreamboats and Petticoats, the nostalgia-fest of a hit-parade musical usually gets bums on seats.

A quieter than average night at the King's suggests that perhaps the marketing for Save The Last Dance For Me is not quite right, or perhaps the market has moved elsewhere and isn't quite so hung up on sequels.

Much like Mamma Mia!, songs aren't so much shoe-horned into this production as sledge-hammered with a few groans coming from seasoned members of the audience at the more laboured lyrical intros.

Plot-wise, it's a straightforward show: two sisters head for a week of fun in a caravan near "uptown Lowestoft" in the summer of 1963. So far, so Dirty Dancing; but this is from a far simpler era, with topics such as racial equality and women's lib still seemingly firmly in the future.

The sister duo is the strongest element in the young cast with Elizabeth Carter as innocent Marie and Verity Jones as worldly-wise big sister, Jennifer. Vocally impressive, Carter was involved in the 2012 tour of Dreamboats and Petticoats, while Jones has previously worked with Craig Revel Horwood, and her stylish dancing could certainly withstand his waspish tongue.

Kieran McGinn and Lee Honey-Jones as Curtis and Milton, the air force Yanks on the pull, are able enough to deliver the (slightly weak) narrative while their air force superior officer Rufus (played by Jay Perry, a former member of S Club Juniors) carries most of the bigger ensemble and band numbers well.

Ultimately, the a cappella sections (Sweets For My Sweet and Hushabye) are by far the most successfully executed and memorable.

HHH

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