Theatre preview: Jackie the Musical

From the page to the stage

Theatre review: Jackie the Musical

credit: Pamela Raith Photography

From humble beginnings in the DC Thomson stable, Jackie became one of the longest running and most popular magazines for teenagers. It even became the brand for a series of albums revisiting 1970s pop.

Nina Myskow, the mag’s one time editor-in-chief, expresses delight at its latest incarnation as a musical for which she provides an advisory role. ‘I can’t think of another magazine they’d bother to make a musical about,’ she says, before enthusing about the energy of the production and the connection it makes with former readers. ‘The audience for the musical are the people who read Jackie in the 1970s: it’s a lovely circle.’

The success of Jackie, Myskow adds, was that it had absolutely everything: ‘it was by far the market leader and there was a lot of competition then. It had pop, fashion, beauty, picture love stories and beautiful illustrations: fun and froth and information essentially.’

In this touring musical, which features a live band and choreography by Arlene Phillips, a former reader (played by Janet Dibley) rediscovers her youthful enthusiasm. ‘It’s a story about a woman called Jackie at a crossroads in life,’ says Myskow. ‘Her man has left her for a younger woman and she’s packing up the house when comes across her old Jackie magazines. That’s when she’s transported back and her younger self is conjured up. It’s not just a jukebox musical – though the music is great – as you care about what happens to her. The show has real heart! You not only laugh: you’ll cry and end up having a party!’

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 12–Sat 16 Apr; King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 26–Sat 30 Jul.

Jackie the Musical

  • Directed by: Arlene Phillips
  • Written by: Mike James

Relive the unforgettable fashion trends of the 70s and reminisce about the travails of new love and heartbreak as Jackie magazine is brought back to life as a modern day musical.


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