Show: The Drifters Girl
Venue: New Victoria Theatre. The Ambassadors, The Peacocks Centre, Woking, Surrey GU21 6GQ
Credits: Co created by Adam J bernard, Tarinn Callender, Matt Henry, Beverley Knight and Tosh Wandocho-Maud. Based on an idea by Tina Treadwell. Produced by Micharl Harrison and David Ian (for Crossroads Live) with Tulchin Partner Productions, David Mirvish, Playing Field and Nica Burns.
Author: Paul Johnson
Performance Date: 22/11/2023
The Drifters Girl
Paul Johnson | 23 Nov 2023 02:34am
The Driters Girl has closed at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End and has wasted no time in taking the show around the country. This week the people of Woking get to see vrtually the same staged show as played in the capital, only not at West End prices.
The role of Faye Treadwell has gone from Beverly Knight to Carly Mercedes Dyer of the recent UK tour of Dreamgirls (Effie White). And yes, she was the one who sang You’re Going to Love Me. It’s a great bit of casting and Faye is a role CMD can really get her teeth into. But what a business woman Faye Treadwell was. It turns out that the woman who wasn’t afraid to sack the entire four-man group if required (she really did it by the way) was quite a cold and hard woman. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing Beverley Knight in the role to see if she played her the same or whether she softened the character slightly. Director of the tour, Jonathan Church, has done a grand job but I would be surprised if that’s how Church saw the character. And audiences are not silly. Faye Treadwell isn’t all that likable as the owner of ‘The Drifters Incorporated’ even if it does rather suit Mercedes Dyer’s style.
The insurance market was pretty boyant after World War II ended and by 1954 the pop chart became extremely popular with groups.
Faye Treadwell had a penchantfor certain young men and she was ruthless until the one who made her gooey was installed as lead singer… but she still eventually sacked him too. As mentioned the vocal style of Faye Treadwell numbers is extremely demnding. That said, Carly Mercedes Dyer make it all look too easy and effortless as she relishes singing the odd diva number. She’s a real natural talent
The Drifters songbook is huge and for the whole evening I listened to approx twenty-five Drifters’ hits including Come on Over to My Place, Stand by Me, Save the Last Dance for Me, Saturday Night at the Movies, Under the Boardwalk, Money Honey, Sweets for My Sweet… the list LITERALLY goes on and on. Providing the musical element to the songs is Dustin Canrad’s nine-piece orchestra.
So why haven’t I given the show five stars? It’s missing the final fifth star because I felt that some of The Drifters’ numbers (sung by the group onstage) were a little under delivered with the odd rushed words or flat note now and then. An example would be in the finale where one or two of The Drifters seemed more concerned with a flying insect that had gatecrashed the stage rather than concentrating soley on the job in hand. We amateur can always swot flies.