13 April 2015

A Slice of Saturday Night

For those of us who don't remember (ahem!) the 60's A Slice of Saturday Night is a perfect example of those more innocent times; a social life that revolved largely around Youth Clubs and Coffee Bars and, horror of horrors, no internet. Life seemed simpler then but was just as complicated for teenagers burdened with out of control hormones.
Staged imaginatively to accommodate a large cast, for the Western, of eight plus an onstage keyboard player and with no amplification, the talented cast of mainly amateur actors showed an extensive range of musical talent and acting abilities.
The Upstairs at The Western, having been refurbished over the summer, showed its adaptability by having the stage removed, the lighting box relocated and extra seats put in to accommodate the sell out crowd all this week. This new versatility enables large casts to perform while, replacing the stage makes it much more intimate for solo performers.
A Slice Of Saturday Night was first performed in 1989 and had a respectable couple of West End runs in 1993 and 2010 inbetween almost continuous worldwide touring versions and slightly sanitised school versions.
The story is of the trials and tribulations of a bunch of teenagers on a Saturday night out in a typically seedy 60's cellar club. With a soundtrack of 60's song pastiches with sometimes very adult lyrics it is a feel good slice of a time long gone. Along the way we see a mix of teenage angst and bravado played out by a strong cast, especially the physically comedic boys.
The original soundtrack has long been a favourite on my iPod so I was delighted to see this show in this season's schedule at Upstairs at The Western and it didn't disappoint. Almost recognisable tunes interspersed with laugh out loud moments combine to make a great evening's entertainment.
While the production runs to Saturday 27th September it is highly unlikely you will get a ticket as it is almost sold out apart from the Saturday matinee. My advice is to get on the phone and see if you are lucky and grab a last ticket.

First published in Western Gazette 
© Paul Towers 26/9/2014

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