Review: The Drifters Girl - Stand By Me!
| By Kay Johal
Beverley Knight has built up an impressive musical theatre career. Amongst her accolades are Cats, The Bodyguard and, of course, Memphis. Now she turns her hand, and those stellar vocals, to the role of Faye Treadwell, in The Drifters Girl currently in situ at the Garrick Theatre.
Alongside her husband, George, Faye is the manager of the group, which over their lifespan had no less than sixty changes of members - that's a lot of people, personalities, and characters to manage. There are also very antiquated views, and being the first African American female managed group was never going to be an easy feat. Not even taking into account the multiple egos, the racism, sexism, and at times the flagrant disregard for Faye’s skillset. Arriving in Britain in the 1970s, the band were wholeheartedly welcomed but when it came to booking hotels the signs in the windows told a very different story. Tender moments follow when we are reminded of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement and at times how everything and nothing has changed at the same time.
There are very few people who will not be familiar with The Drifters’ music, regardless of the litigation around the band’s name change. The show boasts numerous hits, including 'Under The Boardwalk', 'Stand By Me', 'Save The Last Dance For Me' and 'Saturday Night At The Movies'.
Although Knight is no doubt the star of the show, she is very ably supported by the delightful Tarinn Callander, Adam J Bernard, Matt Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud. Oh, and there is a surprise appearance by none other than Bruce Forsyth!
You will definitely be 'Up On The Roof' and dancing the night away!