This was just terrible, darling


The late, great Dusty Springfield.

Dusty Springfield will be birling in her grave if she ever finds out how her songs are being murdered on an ongoing basis in a new musical directed by Craig Revel Horwood, of Strictly Come Dancing fame.

Son of a Preacher Man is supposed to be a “sparklingly funny and touching new musical” written by Warner Brown and featuring Dusty’s greatest hits.

It is anything but and, if you ask me, it does Dusty’s memory a great disservice.

If there were stars on the stage of the King’s Theatre in Glasgow the other night, none of them was shining in our direction.

Craig Revel HorwoodHorwood (left) is said to have musically staged and directed this production which, in the past, would have been booed off the stage by members of the discerning Glasgow audiences in the Empire or Alhambra theatres. We all have a bad game from time to time. For Craig Revel Horwood’s sake I hope this was his. It was a theatrical nightmare, an extremely bad dream. His reputation is teetering on a shoogly nail if it wasn’t.  Craig is a top professional and a tough critic when he sits with Darcy Bussell and the other judges of a Saturday evening on the Strictly panel.

Like most of the audience, we were expecting something superb, glitzy and glamorous, but the stage setting and story-line, like the theatre itself, looked not new, but seriously past its sell by date.

The lighting, wigs and costumes for this were dire, darling. And as for the dancing …

Son of a Preacher Man was just terrible, a sin before God as a preacher might put it, and I can find nothing to say in mitigation for it.

The songs of the lovely, talented Dusty Springfield, whom I met and admired with the other copy boys when the entertainment writers once brought her into the Express and Citizen office, were, if not quite murdered, certainly inflicted with grievous bodily harm.

As Craig Revel Horwood himself would most definitely say on Strictly  this was just awful, darling.

Pointswise, I would give it TWO and then scold myself later for being far too generous.


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