Dreamboys Come to Oxford
OX Magazine were lucky enough to speak to Dreamboys manager and founder, David Richards...
A lot of kids grow up wanting to be policemen or firemen and here you are directing a company of strippers – is that something you always wanted to do?
No. It’s funny when you say growing up wanting to be policemen and firemen because I actually wanted to be a paramedic…and it all went wrong. If I’m honest I was useless at school so paramedic wasn’t going to happen; you have to do A levels and then go to university. And then I decided I was going to do something a bit zany and out-there and I ended up creating Dreamboys.
The objectification of women is often talked about, Page 3 has been a topic of conversation recently; have you ever faced similar criticism for Dreamboys?
Not really because our show is very different. It’s a dance show with the element of Striptease in there…It’s very different to Page 3.
Here’s the best way to explain it. Young girls love Boybands – Take That, One Direction etc. When you get to a certain age you tend to outgrow the Boyband thing; what you then tend to do is move on to something like Dreamboys: so I say it’s like a Boyband for adults (apart from they don’t sing).
Are you ever a victim of theatre snobbery?
We used to be. Not anymore. We’ve proved our point in Theatre Land now. We are hands down the biggest touring one night show in the UK; there is no show in the UK on a one night basis that tours as many dates as us – this year’s tour is 74 dates.
Dreamboys is here, it is to stay, it is a serious show.
It’s a huge production, it’s like any other production, it involves rigging, staging, lighting, costume – there’s a lot that goes in to it. We’ve got pyrotechnics on stage, waterfalls that fall from the sky…it’s a crazy show.
The more that you turn your nose up, the more it drives me to make it even bigger and better. It’s a very well-known brand, everybody knows it now, it’s quite a household name.
This kind of thing used to be frowned upon. But with things like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram…you see more on that then you do in the show. And if you look at how they market Boybands now, it’s all about sex appeal. Boybands are now doing topless shoots because it is the old, old, old saying and it’s going to be around for as long as I’m alive and whoever else is alive after me: “Sex sells”...it always has done.
You’re at Oxford New Theatre tonight. You’ve got Dan Osborne (The Only Way is Essex) with you; what’s it like having him on board?
Well he was on tour with us last year too. He is now officially one of the Dreamboys. You look and read in the press; Dan Osborne is referred to as “Dreamboy Dan” or “Dan from Dreamboys”. He’s very much a big part of our show which is great. When we first took him on last year we weren’t sure how it was going to pan out, bringing in a reality star to the show, but to be honest it’s like he’s been with us from day one.
Based on your times in Oxford before, do you have an expectation of the Oxford audience specifically because we can be a bit more reserved down south can’t we?
This north and south divide that people talk about is not actually true. The energy of the show will bring out the audience whether they’re from the north or south – most of the reaction is the same everywhere we go.
In your Boyband days it would be teenaged girls screaming. Now, with our show it’s older women screaming. But then, when I say older women, our kind of age range is majority 18-30. Some people think Dreamboys is for old married women and it’s nothing like that.
And it’s not just women, we see so many gay guys at the show which is great. When I started Dreamboys you didn’t get men in the audience, it just didn’t happen, being gay was still a thing you very much tried to hide. So back then guys wouldn’t come to the show because straight away it would give away that they’re gay. Now loads of men are in the audience, we love it, we even get men on stage in our show. Men are no different to women, they’re here to have a great time and enjoy themselves – why should we discriminate against anybody sat in the audience?
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