Pretty Woman at New Wimbledon Theatre
Pretty Woman the musical has hit Wimbledon following a 2 year run in the West End which I saw twice and loved both times. The musical follows the film pretty faithfully and tells of Vivian who is a prostitute working in Hollywood. She bumps into billionaire Edward Lewis and her interest in classic cars and ability to strike a deal intrigue him. Paying for a few hours of her time soon escalates into 6 days and as the time they spend together increases so does their spark. Does it finish in the predictable Hollywood manner….I’ll let you discover that much for yourself.
The story is not groundbreaking and maybe 30 years after the movie even a little problematic however the story was delivered with such charm that these elements were easy to gloss over and simply enjoy a fun and for those that know the movie, nostalgia filled evening. The structure of the show with Happyman/Mr Thompson essentially playing a narrator or all seeing character also helped convert the film to stage.
The music is by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance and I adore the fact that save for the 1 song, the show has an original score. The music fits the show perfectly in both creating character and driving the story forward. Additionally the soft rock score is hugely catchy and many of the numbers have found their way onto my musical theatre playlist, testament to how good they are as stand alone songs.
Amber Davies normally plays the role of Vivian on the tour however as she is currently on Dancing on Ice we were treated to Sydnie Hocknell in the role. She was incredibly warm in the part and more than happy to lean into Vivian’s goofy side which I really enjoyed. Her vocals shone and her number ‘I Can’t Go Back,’ raised the roof off the New Wimbledon Theatre.
Edward Lewis was played by Oliver Savile and he simply oozed charisma and his vocals perfectly suited the style of music in this show. The narrator of the piece is Happy Man/Mr Thompson who plays everything from a homeless man on the street to the head concierge at the Beverly Wiltshire where Edward is staying (as well as a few other amusing cameos). This role was played by Ore Oduba and whilst his energy in the role was infectious at times the vocals felt that they sat slightly outside of his range leaving some moments of the song underwhelming and needing more oompf.
Kit De Luca, Vivian’s best friend was played by Natalie Paris and boy does she prove what a vocal powerhouse she is. Her 2 big numbers, ‘Rodeo Drive’ and ‘Never Give Up On A Dream,’ gave her the opportunity to really let rip and whilst both Vivian and Kit both have very vocally demanding songs, their vocal qualities were also very different which gave the characters a more distinguishable sound and feel.
The set and costumes were very similar to the West End production which gave the tour a quality feel about it and in particular I adored the costume design by David Rockwell. Many of the costumes harked back to the original film beautifully and the contrast between the costumes of Rodeo Drive number alongside the costumes for numbers such as ‘Never Give Up On A Dream,’ which is more focused on Vivian’s friends on the street, really helped the highlight the differences in Vivian’s world.
Pretty Woman is a fun, easy to watch and enjoyable musical with a catchy soft rock score and some wonderful performances from musical theatre powerhouses.
To find out more about Pretty Woman and to book tickets you can visit their website.