Having not been a devoted fan of any boy or girl band, the Greatest Days musical tells a story of what it would be like for a group of girls who are devoted to following ‘A boy band’. The story centres around 5 girls, soon to be four (Some similarity) with the band whose music is featured all the way through. Take That. These are Rachel, Debbie, Claire, Heather and Zoe.
The show opens with Rachel (Kim Marsh) doing the washing, hanging the clothes on the line. She lives an ordinary life with her boyfriend, who wishes he was more, but waits patiently. We are then taken back in time to when Rachel was a young teenager. There is Debbie, a youngster living life to the full and has an ambition to be the world’s next best dancer. Claire, an Olympian in the making. Obsessed with diving. Then there is Heather, not a studying person, but likes the boys. A lot! Zoe, whose sights are set not on boys, but studying. University is her goal! What joins all these together is the boy band.
Their common goal is to meet them in person. Plans being drawn up for each of their futures and aiming for what it might fill like.
Their friendship is torn apart by a major incident in their lives, when 5 become 4 and they drift apart and lose contact with each other.
The switch is made and the young Rachel makes way to the older. Rachel and her partner Jeff are sitting at the kitchen table listening to the radio and Rachel is announced the winner of tickets to go and see the ‘Boys’ in Athens, Greece. Jeff is already making plans of which friends they are going to take, when Rachel announces that she is going to find her old friends and they will go, without Jeff. Jeff cannot understand why she would do this when she hadn’t seen them for many a year. Rachel didn’t even know if they would turn up. Now the Greek adventure begins.
As I said earlier, the whole show is held together by the songs of Take That. I liked the way the boys were involved in the show and even their skills at set arranging. Very good involvement and a first for me to see this.
Book by Tim Firth has been adapted well to the musical, full of funny one liner, through banter between the girls young and old. We had a good laugh through the show and you could relax with the performances. A musical story designed around the songs of Gary Barlow and Co.
Credit to the Boy band (Kalifa Burton), (Jamie Corner), (Archie Durant), Alexanda O’Reilly and Paul Casgoine’s son Regan. All were great dancers and sang really well with tight harmonies.
The show takes us on an easy journey, nothing too taxing, a show around songs of a well-known band, but easy to watch and relax with. (Rachel) Kym Marsh gave an excellent performance and her daughter did an equally great job. very natural and likeable performance and her own daughter, the younger Rachel (Emilie Cunliffe) had a good and expressive voice. Kitty Harris (Young Heather) was very funny with excellent comic timing.
One performer that stood out form me was Mary Moore who played Debbie. Brilliant performance and so good at keeping the younger girls together and motivated. Dave hasn’t had a mention yet. Dave the everything man. A caretaker, a roadie, a police officer and every time he came on to the stage he would recite a few lines from one of the songs. He was great at breaking up the quiet and the occasional dull moments.
As a new addition to the Jukebox musical clan, the greatest day is fun, uplifting and a great night out. The songs, you’ll know. The characters you will get to like and even Jeff may even get his Bride. You’ll have to see the show to find out.
The show is on tour and if you have a few hours to spare, like Take That songs and fancy a dance at the end, then this show is for you.
4 out of 5 stars
Reviewer Mark Bilsby