Step Back In Time with I Should Be So Lucky

Posted 22nd February 2024

Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW) filled the pop charts with gargantuan tunes and soundtracked a generation with era-defining songs from Kylie, Rick Astley, Jason Donovan and a whole heap of others.

Now that music is making its way to theatre stages with the world premiere of the SAW musical, I Should Be So Lucky.

The upbeat delivery will bring some colourful cheer to the stage in Milton Keynes in early March.

The worlds of theatre and music share many of the same disciplines, but it’s not necessarily an easy transition, as Pete Waterman found out.
“This is a very different genre for us – musical theatre – it’s hard work, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life,” Pete told us, “My admiration for the cast is unbelievable. The hours they work and the detail they put in.

“The last thing you want is the writers of the music to sit in the audience frowning, but they’ve got to understand that these are our children, songs that are very special to us.”

“We’re writers, but we’re now also the custodians of people’s memories, so we are touchy about how those songs are treated.”
The idea for a SAW musical had been suggested before now, but it had never been right. To coin a phrase, this time they knew it was for real.
“I’d previously worked with a couple of people on it, but I think we’d never seen a story that was of any interest to us,” Pete admits, “Nobody came up with a story that we thought was emotional enough – they are very emotional songs and I think people didn’t get that.

“Working with the cast in the theatre recently took Mike (Stock) and I back to when we wrote the songs. When you hear someone do a song slightly differently, the lyrics get to you.

“I guess nobody before had understood why the lyrics were so poignant,” he realises, “Yes, they were hits, but they were more than hits to the people that bought them; they were statements, particularly for young people. “We’ve always guarded that, we never wanted to spoil that memory. I think that the people we talked to in the past didn’t see the depth of the songs, they just saw that they were hits, and that didn’t work for us.”

That titular song aside, this fresh musical is crammed with other SAW favourites – 30 of them! Some have been reworked and even caught their creators by surprise, thanks to the creativity of musical director George Dyer.

“What he’s done is absolutely great, you sit back and think, ‘I never saw the song like that,’” Pete said, “Sonia’s song, ‘Never Stop Me Loving You’, I have never seen the way they do it in this musical. You just go, ‘Wow, why didn’t I think of that?’. The musical had me in tears.”
While she won’t be with us in the new city, Kylie does play her part in the musical too, which will thrill fans. And let’s face it, we could use a little lift right now, couldn’t we?

“I hope audiences have fun with this show,” Pete adds, “This musical couldn’t have been timed better. We’re currently in a world that’s all over the place, I mean, we just need a bit of uplift as we’ve got enough grief.”

I Should Be So Lucky, Milton Keynes Theatre, March 5-9. Book up: