The Herald (Glasgow)

September 26, 1995, p27

Twist and Shout, King's Theatre, Edinburgh

by Mark Fisher
IF you have any doubts about the storyline in the first half, your suspicions are quickly confirmed in the second. A mere two songs in - with an improbable 14 to go - the narrative just stops.

One character is pregnant and hasn't told her boyfriend, the same boyfriend who has been secretly sleeping with her best friend; another character has just been told his mother is really his grandmother; nearly everyone has been insulted one way or another; and it just stops, open-ended, unresolved.

We do eventually get a voice-over telling us what became of this would-be sixties pop group from Skelmersdale, but it doesn't explain what became of the plot.

Neither does it explain what became of the Liverpool accents, though a scan down the tour schedule does suggest the company at least had the good sense to venture no nearer to that city than Llandudno.

But, of course, no-one's here for the play. What they want are the hits.

After all, there's more drama in any one of them than anything the play could muster.

That's why the real heat is generated when they ditch the story and pound straight into those final 14 songs - a cracking Shout, a soulful My Girl, a spikey Get Off My Cloud, and so on.

In the production as a whole, the women are better than the men, livelier and more gutsy, especially Lesley Anne-Sharpe; Paul Hi-Di-Hi Shane seems only to be there to draw in the punters; and if there's a better reason than a role in The Tomorrow People to justify Mike Holoway's star-billing, I can't imagine what it is.

(Article courtesy of Heidi Tandy)