Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World at Theatre Royal, Stratford East

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World is a NEW musical adaptation based on the children’s book by Kate Pankhurst ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World’. The musical tells the story of a young girl Jade who gets lost on a school trip and ends up in an unopened exhibition with some of the greatest women in history. Would Jade finally see that she can make her mark in the world by just being herself… well I won’t spoil that for you! Go see it for yourself! 

This stellar cast made up of two original ‘SIX’ cast members were dynamic and full of power from the moment those auditorium doors opened. Jade Kennedy, Renée Lamb, Christina Modestou and Kirstie Skivington play multiple characters throughout the show and with the use of their tremendous accents and physicality you completely forget which fantastic woman they had been five minutes ago. 

I must say; the opening number was so cleverly written, not how I had expected the show to start at all but full of recognisable characters, accurate phrases and let me say that as a primary school teacher by day this left me in actual hysterics. 

Direction and choreography by Amy Hodge and Danielle Lecointe was smart, fast paced and energetic. At times, I felt like the choreography was a little repetitive from number to number but street dance/ commercial is a particular favourite of mine so I wasn’t too bothered. Although the characters were from a series of historical periods in time, you would have never thought it at all with the way this production had been presented. 

Even the Costumes and Set Design by Joanna Scotcher was sensational! Bright and exciting which I just LOVE!!! This creative team really have found every way to turn a historical show into something modern and fresh. 

My favourite number in the show I think has to be ‘Mary, Mary & Marie’ such a catchy melody and a brilliant concept using the women as superheroes to tell this part of the story. I loved the choreography in this number and the vocals were on fire. The black outfits with the fluorescent strips and add-ons brought this number full circle! I loved it!!! 

The team of musicians made up of Audra Cramer, Nicola T. Chang and Chloe Rianna were excellent in every way you could imagine. The music and sound complimented the actors and vocals beautifully and in the number ‘World of Colour’ I loved that Nicola joined the women on stage for the drum section of the song, creating a stomp like rhythmic section using boxes and tools within the set. 

This show is extremely entertaining for both children and adults. I left feeling emotional, powerful and truly fantastic! I am just devastated that I won’t be able to take my Year 2 cohort to experience the magic of the show in Stratford. 

I will leave you with my favourite line from the show: “The best way to do it is simply to do it!” So if you can, I highly recommend that you go and see this show either in Stratford or their last leg of the tour in Canterbury!! 

Review by Laura Whittingham

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is running at the Theatre Royal Stratford East until 17th July when it then goes onto The Marlow in Canterbury and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You can find out more about the show and book tickets on their website.

If you like this review you might also like my review of Six, Unfortunate and Come From Away.

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