Verdict: Three stars.

MENTION The Drifters and most people can easily rhyme off their classic songs from Saturday Night at the Movies to Save the Last Dance for Me.

Ask most people to name the line up - and this question might prove a little more troublesome. 

The Drifters Girl musical which arrived at the King's Theatre this week helps somewhat with the answer as it delves into the band's history and more importantly the story of the woman who managed to hold it all together, Faye Treadwell played by Carly Mercedes Dyer. 

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Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:


The audience is introduced to the doo-wop soul band, who formed in 1953, at the beginning of their story.

Managed by jazz musician George Treadwell played by Miles Anthony Daley and founded by Clyde McPhatter (Tarik Frimpong), The Drifters faced early turmoil when its founder left the group for a solo career.

Treadwell used this as an opportunity to trademark the name and brings on board his love interest Faye who later becomes his wife and ultimately the manager of The Drifters.

The story showcases how the band had at least 60 different vocalists and faced racism as well as lawsuits over the use of the name. 

A relatively new musical, The Drifters Girl premiered in Newcastle's Theatre Royal in 2021 before its West End run, and has delighted audiences receiving two Laurence Olivier Award nominations in 2022 for Best New Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for singer Beverley Knight's portrayal of Faye. 

The jukebox musical style of the show allows its talented small cast made up The Drifters and the Treadwells, including their daughter (Jaydah Bell-Ricketts), to showcase just how great the music the band created was.

Come On Over to My Place, Sweets for My Sweet and There Goes My Baby are just some of the incredible songs the cast perform.

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Glasgow Times:

While Stand By Me by Ben E King, who was in the line-up at one point, proved to be a moment to remember with exceptional vocals from Ashford Campbell who plays him. 

Where the show fell short was the rapid delivery of the plot. At points, it felt certain parts of the narrative were rushed and I ultimately found myself later googling to find out more. 

It is perhaps done this way because the history of the band is so complicated.

What, however, was not complicated was the music. It was a complete joy to hear the timeless songs on stage performed to such a high standard by a hugely talented cast. Dyer's vocals were a highlight and she was a joy to watch as she commanded the attention of the audience in her role as the trailblazer Faye Treadwell.

This show will entertain, delight fans of the music and educate on the parts of The Drifters' story that has been lost throughout the years.

Catch The Drifters Girl at the King's Theatre in Glasgow until Saturday, April 13.