Abs-olutely fabulous! Dreamboys bringing new tour to region
PUBLISHED: 13:29 06 November 2018
Catching up with the Dreamboys on tour before their Ipswich and Kings Lynn dates, Lynne Mortimer asked them a couple of pertinent questions... oh, and a few frivolous ones too
How does one describe the Dreamboys?
No, no, not male strippers. They are an all-male dance troupe, I’m told.
That’s how choreographer Jordan describes them. Articulate, friendly and seemingly innuendo-proof, he is keen to emphasise the hard work the men put in to give their near-totally-female audiences a good evening out.
Jordan has worked in West End musicals and trained as a dancer, as did most of the guys.
Sitting with him in the dimly lit bar – there’s something a bit spooky about empty theatres in daytime – are Kane and Luke. They are all in civvies so no previews for this interested reporter. In hoodies and jeans, you wouldn’t know that by night, they are transformed into characters such as firefighters and police officers. I doubt, however, that many of the real frontline professionals are held together with Velcro.
As they are now, they could blend into a queue at Starbucks unnoticed… and then Luke lifts up his sweatshirt to show me what appears to be at least an eight-pack. You’d notice that in a coffee shop.
He pulls it down again pretty quickly.
Luke is a dietitian by training and (Jordan chortles at the thought of me dubbing him thus) a bit of a “gym bunny”. The impressive musculature is the result of very hard work. Like Jordan, Kane is a dancer. He has performed on a number of TV shows.
“Do you use fake tan?” I ask, having noticed a healthy glow about Luke’s tummy muscles..
The answer, delivered by all three men, is that fake tan is not great. It can go blotchy or not cover evenly and image is a big part of their… er… image.
I have to ask, of course − do they strip off completely?
“A couple of the guys take all their kit off,” nods Jordan. It turns out the ones that do aren’t present.
I am treading carefully here because I once saw the Dreamboys perform at the Ipswich Regent (sent by my editor) about 18 years ago.
I persuaded my best friend to go with me and we sat, astounded as the audience of women (except for a very quiet St John Ambulance man) whooped and yelled and encouraged the boys in to take off their pants. “Get them off!” I think were the exact words they hooted, egged on by the boys on stage.
There were several groups in the throng, friends who, I am guessing, may have been at the Prosecco before coming to the theatre. I am told the act is far more polished today and it is much more about the dancing. Jordan says I should go and see it again. I said I’d think about it.
Jordan studied at the Cambridge Musical Theatre Company and has subsequently appeared in musicals including Buddy and Fame.
Although they perform as a troupe, they are individuals and while some might seek out a nearby gym for a quick workout (eg Luke) others might warm up at the theatre. The logistics of a Dreamboys tour are jaw-dropping. They travel all over the country and have as many as 160 gigs in a year. This cannot be conducive to healthy eating surely? Jordan admits to chocolate and cake while others seek out Nandos (is that just the chicken or do they have the fries?).
We move on to the slippery issue of oil. Colleagues who knew I was heading out to meet the Dreamboys joked I should take my own baby oil. I didn’t.
“We call it magic cream,” says Jordan. Kane and Luke nod. They call it that because they don’t currently have sponsorship for the bucketfuls of body highlighter they use to make themselves glisten under the stage lights.
They must be very oily after the performance, I suggest, but they are alert to what a journalist might make of any answer they give so they wisely say nothing. Oh, and another thing, I say, checking my list (it comprises only three words, “nudity”, “oil” and “hair”), do they have to remove body hair. Oh yes.
So are we talking waxing? No, too painful. They shave.
Luke has something called a body groomer. “I have used wax but it hurts.”
A big part of their act is engaging the women who come to see them but, they explain, there is strictly no touching. When they invite a woman to join them on the stage, it may look as if she is caressing their sculptured bodies but, in fact, it’s a clever theatrical cheat.
The audience do, they agree, make a lot of noise but: “It’s completely not what you would think. They’re just having a good time,” smiles Jordan.
After the show they go out front and meet their fans. And they say, they meet a real cross section of people. Jordan says: “We are here for an hour afterwards and we sell calendars (that’s Dreamboys calendars, of course).”
“Some of them are extremely polite and say something like, ‘Thank you, I really enjoyed the performance.’” Then others will be hyper-ventilating.”
They also have superfans; devoted followers who will go to the show many times over.
The more serious question I had to ask, of course, is whether it would be acceptable for an all-female troupe to perform the same sort of act for an audience of men?
It is something they have considered.
“Men wouldn’t want to watch a show all sitting together, as women do,” Jordan says.
I’m not entirely convinced but then, I’m not a man so can’t speak about motivation.
Moving into the auditorium where Jordan and Luke are interviewed on camera by video-maker Rachel Edge, I sit among more Dreamboys. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it...
• The Dreamboys are at the Regent Theatre, Ipswich, Friday, November 16 and at the Corn Exchange, Kings Lynn, Saturday, November 17