REVIEW: Stand By Me at the Kings Theatre, Southsea

The Drifters in 1957
The Drifters in 1957
Pupils from Queen's Inclosure Primary School in Waterlooville who have donated their shoes to children in Africa.  Pictured, from left:  Lily I'Bell (8), Scarlett Bugler (10), Lucia Aldred (9) and (front) Lily Bugler (5).  Picture: Sarah Standing (170967-5871)

Pupils go barefoot to help children who don’t have shoes

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`Stand by Me – a revue featuring the songs of Ben E King and The Drifters’, another tribute band to review, I thought. But I got a pleasant surprise at the Kings Theatre.

This is a fast-paced musical which takes you from the Drifters beginnings in the early fifties, through their various line-ups, trials and tribulations (including the draft, and being arrested as bank robbers), up to their induction in the `Hall of Fame’ in the eighties.

The show has unseen narration, and cleverly blends The Drifters classics like – Under the Boardwalk, There goes my first love and Up on the Roof, with music from the various decades the show travels through.

A simple stage set allowed the cast to focus on the Drifters’ trade mark close harmonies, and the four leads did this to perfection.

Whether solo or in harmony, their singing was fabulous.

Supported by a first-class band, they had the Kings Theatre audience on its feet and singing along – me included!

JULIE RICH