The Drifter's Girl on Tour at the New Victoria Theatre Review: Enchanting Performances

Thursday 23 November 2023

The Drifter's Girl (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre

Currently on tour after a West End stint, The Drifters Girl offers audiences a glimpse at an intriguing journey, accompanied by top tapping hits and universally great performances. Showered with acclaim at the 2022 Olivier Awards, the show follows the dramatic narrative of Faye Treadwell, the incredible force behind shaping The Drifters.

While grappling with some visually lacklustre sets, the production compensates with performances that pack a punch and a memorable soundtrack featuring timeless tunes like ‘Saturday Night At The Movies,’ ‘Save The Last Dance For Me,’ and ‘Stand By Me.’

Despite the occasional visual challenge posed by the set design, The Drifters Girl invites audiences to dive headfirst into the heart of the action with an immediate and dynamic narrative approach. This spirited start, while invigorating, might require a bit of time for the audience to acquaint themselves with the characters and their relationships. If you’re not familiar with the story you may be a little dazed, but thanks to the fast pace, you don’t really have time to think about it!

From the energetic get go, the performances are the true stars of the show. Under the compelling portrayal of Faye Treadwell by Carly Mercedes-Dyer, the cast deliver stellar performances that highlight the ambition, determination, and drive which drives the story. The group's seamless transitions, brought to life by Ashford Campbell, Daniel Haswell, Miles Anthony Daley, and Tarik Frimpong, showcase their artistry in navigating the dynamic changes within The Drifters. Vocally, each performer has some stand out moments however don’t often get the chance to really come into their own. Carly Mercedes Dyer perfectly performs the peak moments of the show, with vocals that simmer and then soar.

The musical's charm lies in its unforgettable songs, which act as both a soulful soundtrack and sturdy pillars supporting the narrative. The emotional depth conveyed through these musical moments significantly contributes to the overall impact, and has you rooting for the story. However, it does feel like something is missing, with the short acts skimming over a lot of drama and never quite packing a punch.

Whilst it’s not a life altering night at the theatre, The Drifters Girl has performances that feel authentic, a soundtrack that strikes a chord, and a narrative that unveils the essence of a key figure in music history. Despite the initial visual challenges and a swift plunge into the storyline, the production eventually finds its rhythm, offering an enjoyable experience for fans of The Drifters and musical theatre enthusiasts alike.

Reviewed on Wednesday 22nd November 2023 by Olivia
Photo Credit:

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}