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Jukebox musical at the Wycombe Swan this week
HAVING underwear thrown at them is nothing new for the cast of Save The Last Dance For Me and it means the show never gets dull for the actors. The musical is from the team that penned Dreamboats and Petticoats and is in the same jukebox format with non-stop recognisable hits throughout. Jade Coulon spoke to the cast ahead of their appearance at the Wycombe Swan.
AJ Dean, Hannah Fredrick, Robin Manning, Michael Paver and Chris Coxen are the original cast and belt out songs each night such as Sweets for my Sweet, Turn Me Loose and A Teenager in Love.
AJ, who plays Milton- a sharp-talking airman, explains what the show is about: "The story primarily follows two sisters, Jennifer and Marie who are 17 and 19-years-old who go on their first holiday away from their parents, in the early 60’s, so they go to Lowestoft, which was a popular holiday destination at the time, especially as not many people went abroad at that time, and while they’re there they get chatted up by a dashing, young American Airman who invites them to their airbase for a dance where Marie falls in love with a black airman which of course at the time is a bit of a big deal, and that causes a heap of problems and a bit of a stir and all sorts of things try to come between them."
And he said the complex storyline marries well with the well known classic hits.
He said: "Rock n Roll is great and personally I really enjoy Rock n Roll so every time I get to do one of these shows, I love it, but I’m not a big fan of musical theatre myself so this one’s good because we have a bit more drama to it as well as great songs."
Chris, who plays Jonny, said: "I really love doing both plays and musicals. This stuff is great, it’s really good fun and the audience get up and you can really feed off the audience and you can see they’re having such a great time and that makes you have a really good time, but then it’s also great to do something a bit more serious."
But with a long tour you have to question if the cast get bored. Absolutely not, they said.
AJ said: "It’s kind of easy I think because a) we gear ourselves up really well so we’re pumped and ready to give it everything and b) every show is different, you can never have the same show, so you’re always on your toes a little bit, we’re lucky to have a very good support network and cover set up, so if anyone’s ever off, and the their understudy comes on, it automatically changes the show, it makes a huge difference. The smallest change can have this huge rippling effect."
And Chris added: "The music itself, it’s hard not to give it everything and make it fun because it’s such fun to be part of and once you get the audience in front of you, it’s difficult not to give them everything."
AJ laughed: "If they’re screaming and waving big banners and throwing underwear at you, it’s very easy to have fun."
But Chris said: "Which hasn’t happened since Liverpool."
The actors who play the airmen said it is very non-specific where in America they are from and each have picked a different era, but they said, they do not find it hard to do the accents.
And they get to wear some great costumes from the era.
Hannah, who plays Jennifer, said: "We love them. They’re proper vintage dresses so they’re lovely. We need to take care of them but they’re great."
But why should people come to see the show?
Robin, who plays Catherine, said: "It’s a feel-good musical with well known songs that you can sing-a-long too. And it’s a love story as well."
Save The Last Dance for Me is at the Wycombe Swan from July 16-21 at 7.30pm with Wed and Sat matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets range from £15 to £27. To book call 01494 512000 or go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk.
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