REVIEW: forever plaid by Stuart Ross, The Gatehouse

PUBLISHED: 17:34 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:08 07 September 2010

Three star rating Who says that a successful musical needs a great plot? Well I do for one, but in the case of Forever Plaid I have to make an exception. After all, this is not so much a musical as a cabaret entertainment with a close harmony quartet, a g

Three star rating

Who says that a successful musical needs a great plot? Well I do for one, but in the case of Forever Plaid I have to make an exception. After all, this is not so much a musical as a cabaret entertainment with a close harmony quartet, a guitar and a piano.

This is a fictional sixties singing group, specialising in music of the fifties. The Plaid sobriquet is a slang term for 'square' or 'conservative' and the group concentrates on the gentle music of the fifties, which sets them apart from the rebellious rock'n'roll singers who were popular at the time. They get their repertoire from Perry Como and Dean Martin, performing numbers that are ideal for wedding parties or bar mitzvahs.

However, tragedy struck in 1964 as they were driving to their first big gig. Their automobile was crashed into by a coach full of teenagers on their way to the Ed Sullivan show to see the Beatles. The car was totalled and so was Forever Plaid.

Some forty years later, due to the power of harmony, or the conjuntion of the planets, or just because a peg was needed to hang the show on, the guys are allowed to come down to earth and perform the show that never was.

I saw this show first in 1993 and was completely knocked out by it. It has to be said that with the original American cast it grew organically and there was much more emphasis on comedy. It was six months in the making, whereas at the Gatehouse it was put together in a couple of weeks. The current talented group have mastered the harmonies and the formalised movement already, so I guess the comedy will develop during the run. With such a simple show, the production values are important and, as always in this venue, these are very high indeed.

It is a pleasant, relaxing, undemanding show and a must for fans of fifties music.

Until June 22.

Aline Waites


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