Dusty Springfield fans seem to be lapping up this show if the enthusiastic reaction of the first night audience is anything to go by.

Yet in truth Son of a Preacher Man shows nothing of Dusty as a person and not even as a singer.

Any fan expecting an intimate replay of the complicated life and great talent of one of our best pop singers does not even get a glimpse of the girl in the beehive hairdo singing a song.

The script is a rather thin romantic tale of three people seeking the elusive Preacher Man, who, like Dusty, never actually makes an appearance, but who once ran a club in swinging Sixties Soho. The dialogue is often dull and a lot of the one-liners lack any cutting edge.

But what pulls the show powerfully along is the sheer energy and enthusiasm of the cast and the superb songs. The cast interprets the numbers in various ways, helped by a superb backing band that often cleverly uses a small group playing on the stage.

Curiously one of the most impressive numbers is a song more associated with Martha and the Vandellas, where the singers and band really rip it up on Nowhere to Run.

There are some great treatments of the Dusty favourites, including a marvellous “Spooky” by Ellie-Jane Goddard as Sandra and Michael Howe as Paul. The show opens with a touchingly poignant treatment of Goin’ Back, where Howe, Michelle Gayle as Alison and Alice Barlow as Kat distill every ounce of its bitter-sweet nostalgia.

Alongside them the Cappuccino Sisters inject some caffeine, while also adding charm in The Look of Love. Alice Barlow, outstanding throughout and providing a glimpse of saucy sex appeal, brings power as lead singer to the finale, Son of a Preacher Man.