The Marvelous Wonderettes

Upstairs at the Gatehouse

The Marvelous Wonderettes

The Marvelous Wonderettes

Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Reviewed – 11th April 2019



“a celebration of two great eras for music”


It’s 1958 and the evening of Springfield High School’s prom. The Marvelous Wonderettes, consisting of Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy, are set to provide the entertainment, and that they do!

The four performers are immediately recognisable as 1950s teenagers. Costumes (Emily Bestow, Designer, and Susan Hodges, Costume Supervisor) are classic fifties style dresses, each one a different pastel shade, which makes for an eye-catching design element. This is complemented well with the use of matching props including lollipops and school exercise books.

Within Act One we’re treated to an array of fifties hits (vocal arrangements by Roger Bean and Brian William Baker), including Mr. Sandman, Lollipop and Stupid Cupid. As well as group numbers, each character performs solos as part of their efforts to be voted Prom Queen. Joseph Hodges has directed them well and good use is made of the small performance space.

Act Two finds us at Springfield High School’s Class of 1958 ten year reunion, with obvious sixties style costumes a clear reflection of this. The Marvelous Wonderettes are again performing, but this time with updates on their love lives, heartbreaks and big events. This is realised through the performance of hits from the sixties, including You Don’t Own Me, Son of a Preacher Man and Respect. In both acts, the four performers display strong vocals as well as good storytelling through song.

Characterisation is spot on, with each girl bringing something different to the table with their personaility traits. From Betty Jean (Louise Young) and Cindy Lou’s (Rosie Needham) clear schoolgirl rivalry to Missy’s (Sophie Camble) sweet peacemaker role and Suzy’s (Kara Taylor Alberts) lovable quirkiness, there’s a lot to keep us entertained.

This show is undoubtedly a celebration of two great eras for music. Although the plot (Roger Bean) is quite basic, this is not a massive issue as the four performers do a good job of engaging the audience through their delivery of the catchy songs, as well as some highly entertaining audience interaction scattered throughout. With impressive harmonies and high energy performances, go and join The Marvelous Wonderettes for an evening of nostalgic fun.


Reviewed by Emily K Neal

Photography by  Kevin Ralph


The Marvelous Wonderettes

Upstairs at the Gatehouse until 12th May


Previously reviewed at this venue:
A Night at The Oscars | ★★★★ | February 2018
After the Ball | ★★★ | March 2018
Return to the Forbidden Planet | ★★★ | May 2018
Kafka’s Dick | ★★★★ | June 2018
Nice Work if You Can Get It | ★★★★ | December 2018
Bad Girls The Musical | ★★★ | February 2019
Strike Up The Band | ★★★★ | March 2019


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