THEY were jiving in the aisles and doing the twist in tribute to a sensational opening performance of Dreamboats and Petticoats last night.
The rock ‘n’ roll bobby socks and floral frocks cut back the years for many members of the audience at the Futurist.
They gave the opening night a standing ovation, capping another spectacular coup for Barrie and Brenda Stead, the theatre’s operators.
West End star Ben James Ellis took to the stage in his home town last night and played to a packed house.
The teenage love story set to the hits of the 1960s started its week-long run at the Futurist with Ben in the key role of Norman.
“I am excited more than anything to be playing Scarborough,” said Ben who started his career at the YMCA in St Thomas Street.
“I am also looking forward to staying at home – and getting to the Fish Pan for something to eat before the show,” said Ben who has been on tour with the show since January. He has also played the role in the West End.
“The last time I was at the Futurist was in 2004 to watch Peter Andre,” said Ben. “But if this theatre did not exist it would be a disaster for the town. There is nowhere else here that Dreamboats could go,” he said.
His family and friends, including a contingent from the YMCA, were in the audience to see Ben make his debut at the Futurist.
Part of the reason Dreamboats is here is show boss Bill Kenwright’s faith in Ben to wow a home crowd.
And the theatre impresario has been so impressed with the way tickets have sold that he is bringing Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to the venue later this year. Co-star Terry Winstanley – the former scaffolder who was on the X-Factor – has nothing but praise for the way Ben has taken him under his wing and helped him prepare for the musical. “I’m a singer primarily and have had to learn new skills quickly and Ben has been great,” he said.