Louise Olley | Dreamboats and Miniskirts | Interview

Louise Olley 1


Louise Olley

Dreamboats and Miniskirts


Hi Louise! I want to talk to you today about the nationwide tour of Dreamcoats and Miniskirts, which is the sequel to Dreamboats and Petticoats. You have played the role of Sue in both productions. Please tell me first about the first show (Petticoats) in case people haven’t seen it.

Dreamcoats and Petticoats is set in the 1960s and revolves around a love story between the characters of Laura and Bobby who both aspire to be popstars, they want to write their own pop songs and get them released in the charts.

My character Sue gets in the way of their love life a bit. I guess you can say she is a tart with a heart. They all meet as members of a youth club and they create a band called ‘The Conquests’. The show is about the drama between them, teenage love and pop stars.

Does it end on a cliff-hanger? Why the sequel?

The show ends on getting the single ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats’ into the charts and Sue gets her guy, Norman who was the rebel in the group.

This show, Dreamboats and Miniskirts is set two years later and we realise that their single didn’t do as well as they had hoped. We also see that Sue and Norman have settled down, they are married and expecting a baby.

Do you enjoy playing Sue – the tart with the heart.

Sue is brilliant, she is a great character and I always wanted to play her. I first auditioned for the part about a year and a half before I finally got it. I got very close that first time and therefore I knew I could do it. I knew Sue was a character I really wanted to play. The next time the role came up, I re-auditioned and luckily this time I got chosen.

You have been in both shows. Have all the cast been in both?

There are a few of the same cast but I believe Bill [Kenwright] went back and looked at everyone who had been in Petticoats over the years and selected from there. So I knew a few people but there were also others that had been in Petticoats before me.

So you were very familiar with the character Sue, did that make an easy transition between shows?

Yes it is great, I am the first girl to play Sue in Dreamboats and Miniskirts and it is amazing to be given the opportunity to have that script in my hand and bring it alive and develop the character in my own way.

Do you relate to Sue at all?

Absolutely, I think she is perfect. She is me as a 17 year old in Dreamboats and Petticoats. She is a bit flirtatious and fun loving, always falling for the wrong guy. In Dreamboats and Miniskirts she has managed to settle down and she’s realised what is important to her and what she wants.

Do you have any bits of advice for her?

I think by Miniskirts she has things sorted but if I could talk to the Sue in Petticoats I would tell her to stop breaking hearts and following the wrong men and remember who and what she wants.

Am I right in saying this show is all about the music?

It certainly is, it has some fantastic sixties rock and roll in it. It is amazing. We have quite a range of music from Beatles to Helen Shapiro and Everly Brothers to name a few. The music sells the show, it is fantastic and everyone leaves the theatre dancing.

Do you find that generally your audience are people who grew up in the sixties and are looking back with nostalgia, or are your audience quite mixed?

Certainly people who grew up with this music in the sixties fall in love with the show because it takes them back to an era which they were obviously very fond of. We also have younger audience members as well who love the show, because they enjoy the music and the characters.

Do you find that the younger audience can still relate to your characters?

I think they do, a lot of the problems that the kids have in Petticoats are much the same now. It is all about love and friendships.

The relationships between the characters are so well written – the cast have a fantastic relationship as well. We are very lucky that some of us came from petticoats as we all have a love for petticoats.

The cast all love the show and I think the audience can see that.

How is the music played in the show?

We have a band called ‘The Conquests’ they are fantastic musicians. They are also actors and singers too, they do it all!

Do you have a favourite song?

One of the songs I love to sing is ‘Be My Baby’ by The Ronettes, I don’t think that I shall ever get bored of singing it. I also sing, ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’ by the Everly Brothers which I think is beautiful.

Dreamboats and Petticoats did a stint in the West End. Do you think Dreamboats and Miniskirts will do the same?

We have been on tour for a little while now and I suspect the tour is testing the water. The tour has been very successful so far so you never know.

What so you hope to do after Dreamboats and Miniskirts?

This is always a tough question for actors, we never know what is around the corner. We don’t know whether the show will continue after this current tour yet. Petticoats lasted for just over six years in the end so we are hoping this one will be just as successful. We will just have to see what comes along really.

Would you like to try TV or Film?

I think every actor would like a varied career. Stage is primarily what I trained in and what I love doing. But I certainly wouldn’t say no to other kinds of work. Being in front of a camera would be fun to try. I shall have to see what comes my way.

Thank you very much for talking to me Louise. I shall forward to seeing you in Crawley!

Dreamcoats and Miniskirts is playing at

the Hawth in Crawley between 7th – 11th April More Details


the Fairfield Halls in Croydon 13th-18th April More Details


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