There are more options for plays or shows in Cardiff than the Millenium Centre on the Bay, especially New Theatre in the city centre – look for the old-fashioned carousel in the main street and turn down the street opposite, past the entrance to Jury’s Inn hotel. This is a wonderful example of an early-20th century theatre, elaborate décor with lots of plush red and gold colours, its first performance was in 1906. Make sure you are early enough to enjoy a glass or two on the patio area outside Jury’s Inn, weather permitting, just to see groups of people making their way to the doors of the splendid entrance curving gracefully around the corner.
Son of a Preacher Man is instantly recognised as a song from Dusty Springfield, so as the title of a stage show is intriguing – is it about Dusty herself/ will one person play her character/ is there a story behind it? It is written by Warner Brown who was challenged to write “a compilation show” different from others, and is directed by Craig Revel Horwood, so obviously great expectations from this combination! And it didn’t disappoint.
Three main characters decide they want to try and find The Preacher Man – a famous record store from the 1960s where they/ their parents/ their grandmother used to spend a happy Saturday. Of course, the original owner has popped off by now, but his son still lives there albeit above what is now a café. All the songs from Dusty are featured, being sung by individuals or the chorus, and all cast enthusiastically belt out all our favourites. It all ends happily, as you would expect, and the audience are on their feet for the last couple of songs.
A feel-good show, as they say, with people smiling and humming to themselves as the packed theatre empties just before 5.00pm. A great way to spend an afternoon, and I was amazed to see a full house for a matinee performance. It was £18 concession price for a good seat in the stalls, and I will look out for more performances here in the future.