I Should be so Lucky, Bristol Hippodrome

“YESTERDAY upon the stairs I met a man who wasn’t there” – so starts William Hughes Mearns’ poem Antigonish. If you replace “woman” for “man”, you have a description of a very important contributor to this show who sadly from the audience point of view, appears only via video images rather then in person. The lady in question is Kylie Minogue, eight of whose Stock Aitken Waterman songs are featured in this story of a jilted bride and the wild events that follow as the muddle headed bridegroom attempts to rectify his mistakes and win back her love.

As Lucie-Mae Sumner’s dumped-at-the-alter bride Ella sinks into depression, she calls on her confidante Kylie Minogue, who appears in her mirror, for guidance and support, and gets it by the ton, turning depression in anger and confidence as she takes up the already-booked honeymoon holiday in a Spanish paradise hotel. A romantic fling with tour guide Nadeem (Kade Ferraiolo) and the assurance to belt out numbers in true Kyle Minogue-style follow, plus another bout of on-off romance with her blundering erstwhile husband Nathan, played by Billy Roberts.

In between times Ella’s sister, mother, (Melissa Jaques, no mean vocalist when given the chance to shine – as is sister Britney (Emma Crossley). Then Jemma Churchill, underused as Grandma, best friend Michael (Scott Paige) about to find love himself with masseur Hassan (Ralph Bogard), all arrive to help cheer up Ella, but end up muddying the waters even more.

All of this, plus side stories involving scene-stealers Kayla Carter, a beautifully-sung, understated Bonnie, Giovanni Spano also in good voice as Nathan’s know-all friend Ash and Jamie Chapman prepared to sail perilously near caricature in order to squeeze the last drop of fun out of the camp hotel manager Spencer.

To tell these stories, writer/director Debbie Isitt had to use the lyrics of 26 Stock Aitken Waterman songs to fit into her script, and by necessity that meant storylines and characters were only sketchily drawn in.

As far as the customers were concerned, the fact that much of that dialogue had to be belted out as hard and fast as the vocals did not matter a bit. Those numbers crowded in on top of one another, taking the audience back to the powerhouse pop hits of the 1980s that they had come to hear, and with choreography and flashy settings, and costumes to match the musical arrangements, they were never going to be disappointed.


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