Dusty Springfield's voice shaped the British Invasion of the 60's and paved the way for countless singers in the "blue eyed soul" scene. It was that very voice that filled the intimate Charing Cross Theatre on Friday night to an audience of both life long and new fans, filling the ears of the young and old with her silky melodies.
Dusty is a jukebox musical with a difference. Where many have failed for their cheap impressions of the central star, Dusty excels partly due to the stellar acting performance from Ellie Ann Lowe but mostly due to the use of footage of Dusty's actual performances and the spectacular 3D holograms. It tells the story of her life, from her years in Ealing as Mary O'Brien to the creation of her anthem "Son Of A Preacher Man", through the eyes of her childhood friend Nancy Jones (Francesca Jackson). Dusty touches on the darker moments of her life but ultimately it is a celebration of her incredible music and career.
All the musical numbers were performed by Dusty herself via a performance tape or using the amazing 3D holographic projections. They were all done really artfully and gave you a fusion theatre experience.
It was lovely to see that all the supporting members of the cast were given the chance to shine, they all gave such enthusiastic and dazzling performances. Francesca Jackson was brilliant as Dusty's closest friend, driving the show in acting but also leaving the audience craving more for her fantastic singing. She gave a warm and honest account of life at Dusty's side, a reminder of the effect of life long friendship.
I had heard of Dusty Springfield but I wasn't as familiar with her music or life story as certain other audience members, some of whom were very vocal in their adoration!
The show felt like a very affectionate reminiscence of Dusty Springfield at her best and combined a fantastic cast with Dusty and her classics to create something really special.
The finale was a real treat and left the whole audience with a warm feeling. I would definitely recommend Dusty to anyone, it serves as a great introduction to her legacy but also as a trip down memory lane for others.
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