Creative Theatre


West London

The musical “Shout!” is a celebration of a decade that changed society with women’s liberation, the pill, free love, marijuana, and new fashions and defined by the music of the period from the Beetles to a host of wonderful female singers including Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Shirley Bassey, Nancy Sinatra, Mary Hopkins and Petula Clark. It is a perfect opportunity to showcase the female singers in a society in a vibrant fun lively show and SWMTC’s production rises to the challenge for their first show back after Covid.

This Jukebox musical uses the conceit of letters written by five women of different ages to a Sixties women’s magazine “Shout” to frame the show with the old-fashioned responses from its agony aunt providing poor advice and signally the world was changing. At times, it has the feel of the anarchic TV Rowan and Martin’s laugh in show (1968-1973) with its sketches and dancing go-go girls interrupted to deliver short gags. Each of the women get their moment centre stage and they work well together as backing singers and in the harmonies.

The fast-moving show, which runs for ninety minutes without an interval is simply set on low rise rostra with five excellent projection screens to help set scenes and themes. The excellent sound effects, spotlights on the leads and plenty of haze add to that atmosphere and support the performances well. It makes for a very enjoyable evening which had an appreciative audience clapping and singing along.

Director & Sound Lead, Craig Howard , used his cast well to create the look and feel of the Sixties with good use of the stage space and variation in the presentation. The sound mix was  a good blend of backing tracks and vocalists. There was some very good well timed integrated sound effects which worked wonderfully in the marijuana smoking , drinking, and breaking up scenes.

The Lighting was attractive and picked out the lead vocalists clearly in a well-balanced lighting design with the five video scenes adding to the mood and setting of the scenes. I really liked the use of these screens especially for the word “Shout” , images of Piccadilly Circus and for the covers of each edition of the magazine. The psychedelic colours like a lava lamp were good.

The show built well as a show to a brilliant conclusion, reminded us of the vibrant sound of the Sixties (especially the host of female stars) and the excitement and change of the decade. It was a show which cast, and audience could enjoy together in a fun evening’s entertainment.