Pretty Woman The Musical
Pretty Woman is one of the latest movie to musical to hit the West End stage. Whilst this genre can get a lot of criticism I actually love the likes of Legally Blonde and the Wedding Singer so I was keen to seen how Pretty Woman translated to the stage.
Pretty Woman tells of prostitute Vivian who happens to bump into billionaire Edward Lewis. Her knowledge of classic cars and her ability to strike a deal immediately interests him and he ends up paying for her time that night, a night soon turns into six days where she is t be at his beck and call. We then follow the pair as they spend time together in Hollywood as the inevitable happens and they begin to fall for each other. The storyline itself is thin, back stories underdeveloped and possibly problematic 30 years later however whilst watching it this didn’t really bother me and I let it wash over me with the acceptance that it was a fun night out with the story to be taken with a pinch of salt and nostalgia pushed to the fore.
The music by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance is enjoyable and there were moments where you could clearly tell that Adams was the writer, for example during ‘Freedom.’ Many of the numbers were catchy and days later I found myself singing ‘Luckiest Girl In The World,’ and number such as ‘I Can’t Go Back’ really gave the audience a chance to see just what Aime Atkinson could do vocally.
The show is narrated by Happy Man, played by Bob Harms and he pops up in numerous roles throughout the show, although most notably as Mr Thompson, the Manager of the Beverly Wilshire. He had delightful comedy timing and to have him popping up in so many different and unexpected roles was a stroke of genius by the writers Garry Marshall & J.F Lawton.
Aime Atkinson was utterly charming as Vivian. She captured the goofy side of Vivian at the same time as being breathtaking and elegant in the iconic opera scene. The chemistry between her and Danny Mac who played Edward Lewis sizzled. Mac had a huge amount of charisma and managed to strike the balance between work obsessed individual and a man who cared about Vivian and if she was mistreated. My only criticism as that he was possibly too nice to start with and that therefore his business turn around wasn’t the big character u-turn you would expect.
I also loved the addition of Bell Boy, Giulio played by Alex Charles who appeared throughout scenes at the hotel and spontaneously breaks into dance at various moments. This added an extra layer of fun to the show and a highlight is when Giulio and Mr Thompson attempt to teach Vivian how to dance.
The costumes worn by Atkinson pay homage to the film in a big way and the contrast of Vivan’s street walker friends to the costumes worn by those in Rodeo Drive or the Polo Club do a lot of the talking and set the scene perfectly.
Whilst Pretty Woman may not be the most ‘woke’ show in the West End it is filled with humour and charm and of course of huge slice of nostalgia.
To find out more about Pretty Woman and to book tickets you can visit their website here. We sat in the front row of the circle which is sold as a restricted view due to the safety bar for £25 – if you are over 5’5 and don’t mind leaning forward a touch I would highly recommend these seats as a great bargain!!