CLIMB on board for a trip back to the Swinging Sixties with a sunny production of Summer Holiday at the Swan Theatre this week.

It’s 50 years since the movie version hit the screens and provided a backdrop of Cliff and the Shadows tunes to sing along to for the next half century.

Back in 1963, Europe was a faraway place. Few had visited France, let alone exotic Italy or mysterious Greece. So a London Transport double decker bus adapted for foreign travel was a magnificent dream and captured the excitable optimism of the time.

WODS bring this innocence to the stage with a glossy Technicolour treatment, bright costumes and plenty of energy. Lead Gary Sorroll, in his first production for the company, has the tough task of following the unmistakable voice and presence of Cliff Richard. He looks cool as Don, who persuades his bus mechanic pals to join him on the double decker dream.

The wheels come off the plot before it’s left the depot but it’s really only a vehicle for the procession of pop hits, including Constantly, Bachelor Boy, Dancing Shoes and the fabulous title track with many others half-forgotten.

The pals pick up a girl singing group whose Mini has broken down, then a disaffected famous girl singer Barbara, masquerading as a boy, a confident and captivating performance from newcomer Louisa Ford. She’s running away from a harridan mother and a hapless agent, two excellent comic turns by Wendy Holloway and Andrew Bartlett.

Chris Holloway, Craig Jansen and Oliver Roberts, who does a rousing version of Move It, are the pals, whose Time Drags By is a highlight, as is an a cappella version of Living Doll. Abbi Jakeman, Leila Moore and Lynne Holloway are in good voice as the girl group, especially on Gee Whizz, It’s You and there’s the usual splendid choreography for the hard working chorus, leading to the big finale On The Beach.

The Sixties might seem like a foreign country to some but it’s worth a visit and, if you’re a certain age, it’s like going back home. It runs until Saturday.