It’s more than just puppy love for a feelgood show

Janet Dibley, Nicholas Bailey and Graham Bickley in Jackie The Musical
Janet Dibley, Nicholas Bailey and Graham Bickley in Jackie The Musical

Jackie The Musical, Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Abiding memories of Jackie The Magazine are clearly imprinted on several generations of women and this lively, lightweight and ultimately lovable musical plays directly to that audience, besides having enough energy to please many more.

It’s a jukebox show, but with a neat storyline rooted in the magazine’s prime, and contrasting just how much has changed in the ensuing 40 years.

Modern-day Jackie (Janet Dibley) is a 50-something divorcee who falls back on her stash of magazines to help her navigate the middle-aged minefield of the dating game. So you could pretty well plot the chosen songs yourself – from What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, to Love Is In The Air. In between are more rousing nods to teen pin-ups Donny Osmond or Marc Bolan.

The whole production is framed by a magazine design that is also coloured-in and costumed in authentic style. The dancing and choreography, marshalled by no less than Arlene Phillips, is splendid.

The sound mix could strip your David Cassidy posters off the bedroom wall, but in fairness the singing standard is only a small part of the formula, and this is a show that gets its chemical reaction just right.

It runs here until Saturday.