5 Reasons Not To Miss Son Of A Preacher Man At The Belgrade Theatre
With Valentine’s Day coming round again next week, lovers will have the chance to spend a romantic evening out together at the Belgrade Theatre as Craig Revel Horwood’s sparklingly funny musical Son of a Preacher Man comes to Coventry.
Featuring a soundtrack packed with the timeless hits of the legendary Dusty Springfield, the show follows the story of three strangers inexplicably drawn to the site of a 1960s nightclub, once famed for its wild nights out and for the romantic advice dispensed by its owner, the Preacher Man himself.
Here are five great reasons not to miss this feelgood show during its Belgrade Theatre run from Tuesday 13 until Saturday 17 February.
1. It’s directed and choreographed by Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood
Best known as a judge on BBC One’s hugely popular Strictly Come Dancing, Craig Revel Horwood is certainly no stranger to stage musicals, having variously directed, choreographed and starred in shows ranging from West Side Story, Miss Saigon and Annie to Guys and Dolls, Anything Goes and South Pacific.
Yet Son of a Preacher Man is a production particularly close to his heart. As both director and choreographer, Horwood is right at the heart of its creative team, and a huge fan of Dusty Springfield’s music.
“It’s a joy to work on,” he said. “The Dusty music lends itself to good storytelling, and that’s really important: her stories always have beginning, a middle and an end. And they’re very soulful. A lot of people will be surprised when they see the songs come to life. Her lyrics are really quite poignant. She tells human stories with amazing rhythms that can be applied to men or women and crosses through to being gay as well. That’s why her music is universal.”
2. It’s set to a sensational Dusty Springfield soundtrack
From her 1960s heyday right through to 2018, Dusty Springfield has remained one of the British music industry’s best-loved and most iconic vocal talents, her legacy living on well after her untimely death in 1999. Between 1964 and 1966, NME readers voted her Top British Female Artist for three consecutive years; while just this year, she was featured on a list of 12 Most Influential Women by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
In Son of a Preacher Man, audiences can enjoy a string of instantly recognisable classics from the soul queen’s extensive back catalogue, including “The Look of Love”, “I Only Want to Be with You”, “Spooky” and of course, the title track itself.
3. It features a script by Warner Brown
International star and leading light of the contemporary theatre scene Warner Brown has lent his talents to numerous high-profile productions around the world. From straight plays to musicals and from the avant-garde to arena tours, he’s enjoyed a hugely varied career, taking in the likes of Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, Half a Sixpence, The Biograph Girl, Garbo – The Musical and more. Expect warmth, humour and a fun, feelgood vibe from his latest offering.
4. It coincides with LGBT History Month
Having opened up about her sexuality in a candid interview with the Evening Standard in 1970, Dusty Springfield was among the first major celebrities to publicly “come out” as laws and attitudes concerning homosexuality changed in the lead-up and aftermath of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.
“I couldn’t stand to be thought of as a big butch lady. But I know that I’m as perfectly capable of being swayed by a girl as by a boy. More and more people feel that way and I don’t see why I shouldn’t.”
But it was still a bold move: her honesty did little to satisfy a scandal-hungry press, and meanwhile, a culture of shame and silence still persisted across much of the country for years to come. As she herself predicted in the same interview.
“D’you realise what I’ve just said could put the final seal to my doom? I don’t know, though. I might attract a whole new audience.”
Fierce and formidable as ever, Dusty refused to apologise for or hide away who she was. Some time later, she would even exchange vows with her then-girlfriend Teda Bracci in a (non-legal) wedding ceremony of sorts – though the relationship was doomed to end after just two years.
What better way to celebrate this champion of LGBT representation than with a musical born out of her hugely influential music?
5. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day
With its romantic advice-dispensing Preacher Man and its story of three strangers looking to turn their unlucky love lives around, Son of a Preacher Man is the ideal choice for a Valentine’s week date night. Expect a fantastic evening’s entertainment with stunning sets, spectacular choreography, and of course, a joyous soundtrack packed full of sensational Springfield songs.
Son of a Preacher Man is at the Belgrade Theatre from Tuesday 13 until Saturday 17 February. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055 or by visiting www.belgrade.co.uk, where prices are even cheaper.