AS chance would have it, Summer Holiday: The Musical is in York for half-term week and Racy Plews's new touring production has more of the feel of half term than the full-scale summer holiday about it.

It comes with good credentials: a stage adaptation by Michael Gyngell and Mark Haddigan from the 1963 film that starred Cliff Richard and The Shadows, with extra Cliff hits from that era, a big red double-decker bus and Liverpudlian singer, songwriter, Brookside soap star and Dancing On Ice champion Ray Quinn filling Sir Cliff's shoes in the leading role of Don.

Adopting Cliff's neutral accent but making Don his own, Quinn is by far the best thing in the familiar story of Don journeying with his fellow London Transport mechanics on a double-decker bus through Paris, the Alps, Italy and Greece, picking up a girl singing group and a young American pop star on the run from her domineering mother en route.

The bus dominates the stage, rather more cumbersomely than the open-plan Priscilla in Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, The Musical, with little room for anything but evocative images of the period to the sides in Steve Howell's set design.

The bus's upper deck accommodates a shower for a somewhat awkward scene for Quinn's Don and Sophie Matthew's run-away Barbara/Bobby, while the singing group (Gabby Antrobus's Mimsie, Alice Baker's Alma and Laurie Marie Benson's Angie) have to rest their heads on what looks like a bench in another scene. Most uncomfortable, and hopefully it will be upgraded for future weeks because right now this show looks like it has cut corners.

Racky Plews has work to do too to make everything flow better: several scenes come and go with little excuse for anything more than a costume change for another song-and-dance. The sound levels find Rob Wicks's band dominating over the singing in the early numbers, although this is rectified, and once Quinn arrives, the show is on an upward trajectory, improving considerably in the second half, but there is still room for more energy to crackle through early scenes as much as it does at the finale.

Opportunity knocks for Bobby Crush to play the comic stooge role as Jerry, weary eyed beneath a wayward wig and donning assorted disguises at the beck and call of Taryn Sudding's ever-demanding Stella, Barbara's pushy mother. The laughs don't come easily, alas.

What does work, however. is the raid on Cliff's back catalogue for this retro musical to boast In The Country, Summer Holiday, Travellin’ Light, Bachelor Boy, Move It, Living Doll, The Young Ones and On The Beach, a winning soundtrack in a show that needs to improve elsewhere before the summer-holiday run at Leeds Grand Theatre from July 30 to August 4 (box office, 0844 848 2700 or

Summer Holiday: The Musical, Grand Opera House, York, until Saturday. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at