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REVIEW: Boogie Nights (Spa Theatre Company, Royal Spa Centre)

Excellently produced 70s treat by Leamington theatre group NOSTALGIA, they say, isn’t what it was. Boogie Nights is a veritable cornucopia of some of the finest 70s music that I wouldn’t mind betting turn into our ‘Good Old Days’ favourites. The plot is the tangled love story of Debs (Nikki Cross) and Roddy (Daniel Murray) with Dean (Ben Williams) as first reserve, plus Trish (Sian-Marie O’Reilly) and Terry (Rob Arthurson). The sub-plot is the stormy relationship between night club singers Spencer (Nick Doughlin) and Lorraine (Louise Woodward) who belongs on the front cover of Vogue. The exuberance of the song and dance numbers was infectious and the slow numbers were wonderfully handled. Roddy is from a struggling motherless family, with an Elvis-obsessed Irish father Eamon (Alec Brown) living in the past – and squalor - and wishing he could do a better job at fatherhood. Roddy’s of-the-time speech about women belonging in the kitchen drew a strong reaction from the audience, almost a hiss of disapproval. But the women are portrayed as stronger characters. Particularly telling was the wonderful duet – Enough is Enough – sung (beautifully) by Lorraine and Debs. Other highlights included I Will Survive – which inevitably brings the house down and seems to have something to say to everyone like the greatest poem. So why go and see it? It is excellently produced, involves a whole lot of wonderful music, brilliant dancing and an interesting story with a twist in the tale that I, for one, didn’t see coming. All in all, it was an uncomplicated treat. Jane Howard, Leamington Courier

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