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REVIEW: Preacher Man

Review by Markus Hamence – Performance date: Saturday 17 February 2024

I’ll set this scene first up… It’s March 1999, and the world mourns the loss of music icon and legend, Miss Dusty Springfield.

You don’t need to be a fan of Dusty (though it may help) to appreciate the beauty found in this captivating and rewarding cabaret show. When three strangers unexpectedly unite at Dusty’s funeral, we see the actors sing and story tell how Dusty has impacted their respective lives.

Woven with true stories of various ‘Dusty’ moments, the performers belt out some incredible, iconic songs. Now, we all know Dusty’s catalogue is vast, so it is impossible to showcase any where near close to all the hits in a tight hour. But, the selected songs we hear are very well chosen. Many highlights are laden through this poignantly breathtaking show including the Pet Shop Boys collaboration ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This’ and the haunting ‘The Look Of Love’. But they continue to roll-out the classics… ‘Wishing And Hoping’, ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ and, of course, ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’. There are MANY more.

Vanessa Shirley, Emma Gordon-Smith and Michael Bates and tremendous and connect well with the audience. Indeed they have great voices for their chosen songs and their confidence in their roles is refreshing to see. It is a pleasure to watch their connection grow from strangers to friends as they tell of their experiences through Dusty’s music and adventures.

This show is wonderfully produced (Back 2 Front Productions) and the story is told well. It’s simple and not unnecessarily cluttered as it’s laid-out on stage and making it therefore not restricted to fans only. It’s a showcase of an amazing catalogue of songs that is only part of what Dusty has left us. Of course she was a trail-blazer in many ways too.

We see the characters on stage go through a heart touching hour of self-discovery which includes love and loss. The characters are engaging and real making this show very authentic and very worthy of becoming a bigger production down the track. Go and see this, you’ll be glad you did.

A very well deserved 4.5 stars from me 🙂

For tickets, show dates and more information, click here! 🙂

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