THE ARTS

Step back in time and re­live the birth of rock n roll

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - LET’S PARTY - By Lau­rna Robert­son

JAIL­HOUSE Rock, Shake Rat­tle and Roll and Good Golly Miss Molly – it’s hard to think of three songs in the charts right now that make you want to shake and shimmy as much as these 1950s clas­sics do. If you're a fan of fifties’ croon­ers or you just fancy a chance to dress up in a poo­dle skirt, Rock Around The Clock is rolling into town next week. And ac­cord­ing to one of the singers in the show, Ben Fitz­patrick, no mat­ter who you are, you’ll strug­gle to stay seated in such a party at­mos­phere. “Peo­ple I’ve spo­ken to that have seen the show say they’re amazed by the en­ergy and how they've not wanted to stop dancing,” said the 21-yearold from Livingstone. “It’s one of those shows that is suit­able for all ages – for older peo­ple as it makes them feel young again and young­sters who love to try do­ing the twist.” “We of­ten get three gen­er­a­tions dancing to­gether and that’s a great feel­ing from the stage – to see you’re bring­ing a fam­ily to­gether.” Rock Around The Clock is a cel­e­bra­tion of the 1950s with non stop hits from the time. And while it doesn’t have a story as such, Ben thinks there’s some hints at a plot through the mu­sic. He said: “There’s def­i­nitely hints to­wards char­ac­ters and re­la­tion­ships and lit­tle bits of story that are strung to­gether through­out the show. “It’s all about the era and the feel­ing – so you get char­ac­ters of the time like Teddy Boys.” And it’s not just the mu­sic that’s nos­tal­gic, the cloth­ing will also take the au­di­ence down mem­ory lane. Ben said: “While I ob­vi­ously wasn't born at the time of the decade, I love get­ting to wear a Teddy Boy suit in The Plat­ters num­ber. “I think my fash­ion taste might never leave the 50s af­ter the show. “The whole thing is very colour­ful, pleas­ing to the eye, plus it’s hard not to look at the dancers and wish you could move like they do.” There’s one style el­e­ment of the decade that proved a bit trou­bling for Ben how­ever. “I had to get lessons in how to get a hair quiff but af­ter tour­ing since June I’ve mas­tered it.” The Amer­i­can Juke­box show has been tour­ing in the UK since June 13 and it ends in Oc­to­ber in a lo­ca­tion Ben did not ex­pect when he signed up. “Our last three shows are in Is­tan­bul which is our only abroad date and a bit of a ran­dom one. “Get­ting a bit of sun­shine af­ter per­form­ing in Scot­land will be lovely though and I'm ex­cited to see the re­ac­tion in an­other coun­try so dif­fer­ent from my own.” Ben was still in drama col­lege in Mother­well when he was of­fered the part in the hit show. He was spot­ted in the Mother­well Col­lege’s show­case per­for­mance at The Cri­te­rion Theatre in Lon­don by an agent. And the agent then sent him for an au­di­tion for the show. “The first au­di­tion was over so quickly that I didn't think they had liked me at all. I’d built my­self up so much for it and then when I got in they just asked me to sing a cou­ple of songs and go. “How­ever the re­call was dif­fer­ent. I was in a room with 20 other guys and ev­ery­one was try­ing to do their best. It was rather in­tim­i­dat­ing to say the least.” As the to­ken Scot­tish mem­ber of the cast, Ben

will be acting as tour guide and cul­tural guide in Aberdeen. “I’ve been teach­ing them Scot­tish words and say­ings and as I’ve been up to Aberdeen a cou­ple of times be­fore I’ll be show­ing them around. “I'm sure it'll be all good feed­back as I’ve yet to see some­one at the show that doesn’t have a smile on their face.”

SWING­ING: The show catches the mood of the 50s. JAIL­HOUSE ROCK: An Elvis tribute sec­tion in the Rock Around The Clock mu­si­cal.

DOO-WOP: The 1950s show cast en­joy a sin­ga­long.

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