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I Should Be So Lucky at New Wimbledon Theatre | Review

When there are jukebox shows like Mamma Mia! and Jersey Boys setting the standard, combining a decent storyline and some equally decent songs, it’s more than a tad disappointing to come across something with a plot that is frankly bizarre. The story fits around the musical numbers, with the show seemingly revelling in how convoluted and contrived it is. It’s as if the story navigates around the songs, as though the tunes were obstacles in an obstacle course.

I Should Be So Lucky - Photo by Marc Brenner.
I Should Be So Lucky – Photo by Marc Brenner.

The central character, Ella (Lucie-Mae Sumner, who has a magnetic stage presence) is about to get married to Nathan (Billy Roberts) but is jilted at the altar. Cue Kylie – as in Kylie Minogue – in the series of pre-recorded videos (oh come on, you didn’t really think the actual Kylie Minogue would be touring various theatres in the UK and Ireland, did you?) encouraging her to be “strong, beautiful and fabulous”, with miscellaneous references to her (Minogue’s) back catalogue in an otherwise highly cringey script.

When the action shifts from Britain to Turkey, and more specifically to a lovers’ retreat run by Spencer (Jamie Chapman), there are some odd accents amongst the ‘local’ staff, including a masseur, Hassan (Ralph Bogard) who wants to give “Indian head” – make of that what you will. Be still my beating heart – oh, it is. The show was never offensive, at least not to me, but it was incredibly strange. Various misunderstandings between various characters ensue, which frankly could have been resolved over WhatsApp or an old-fashioned conversation. Normality, however, is not what this show does, in a show crammed with lazy stereotypes.

At one point, a few (maybe three) beach balls launch into the front stalls, are bounced around for a bit and then promptly forgotten about, and the randomness of proceedings eventually makes one want to stop trying to make sense of what is going on. There’s a musical theatre happy ending, and a long megamix at the end, as various jukebox shows like to treat or otherwise subject their audiences to, but even these don’t feel fully earned. A grandmother, Ivy (Jemma Churchill), specifically talks about her ‘vajazzle’, at least twice, passports go missing en masse and without logical explanation (even when it is explained, it is still without logic). Put resort employee Nadeem (Matthew Croke) into the mix, and the show now has a love triangle: how very unoriginal.

And yet, and yet… Jason Gilkison’s choreography is a delight to witness, whenever it gets a chance to truly shine. The costumes (Tom Rogers) always suit each scene – whether at the (non) wedding, at the resort, or at a party, there’s a lot of bold and bright colours to behold. The cast deliver the chart songs written by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman with flair and enthusiasm. In fact, if the storyline had been removed altogether and the show became a Stock Aitken Waterman musical revue, I might have enjoyed it a whole lot more. The show does best when it abandons the narrative for a while and gives the audience song after song. Otherwise, it’s never a good sign when one stops caring about what happens to any of the characters long before the curtain call.

2 gold stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Head from the aisle to the isles in the official Stock Aitken Waterman musical featuring the soundtrack of a generation with music from pop royalty including Kylie Minogue (I Should Be So Lucky), Rick Astley (Never Gonna Give You Up), Jason Donovan (Especially for You), Bananarama (Love In The First Degree) and more, all intertwined in an original story of love, laughter and last-minute getaways!

Dive deep into a heartwarming and rib-tickling tale of Ella and Nathan – a star-crossed couple with wedding jitters and tropical dreams. Will their love sail smoothly, or are stormy break-ups ahead? Only time and tunes will tell.

Book your tickets now for I Should Be So Lucky at New Wimbledon Theatre from Monday 29th January to Saturday 3rd February, 2024.

Tue – Sat at 19:30
Thu, Sat and Sun at 14:30

View all shows booking now at New Wimbledon Theatre


1 thought on “I Should Be So Lucky at New Wimbledon Theatre | Review”

  1. Myself and 3 friends came to the theatre last night to see “I should be so lucky”. There were people getting up, going out and then coming back in and disturbing us and members of the audience. They would sit in different seats and generally distract us from watching the performance. Were they going to the bar, or surely the bar would be closed and drinks would not be served whilst the play was on? It was very disruptive. One usherette lady came down to tell people to be quiet as there seemed a commotion was going on. It was quite late in the play though.
    I tried to queue at the beginning to get a drink for myself and my friends, but it was impossible. You could not get near the bar.

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