Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World: the Musical
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: Rose Theatre, Kingston 
Cast: Renee Lamb, Kirstie Skivington, Jade Kennedy, Christina Modestou and Kudzai Mangombe

The world premiere of the brand new kickass-pirational pop musical. Join our inquisitive heroine Jade as she breaks away from her class to take a peek behind the scenes at the not yet open Gallery of Greatness in the local museum. Along her journey she is surprised to meet the incredible wonder women: Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie, Emmeline Pankhurst to name just a few.

From the moment I heard about Fantastically Great Women, I knew I just had to see it. It was pitched as a 75 minute pop musical about inspirational women. As a huge lover of Six the Musical, it definitely piqued my interest. Especially as it has such an incredible cast of talented women. As there's no cast recording and it's a fairly new production, I went in with very little knowledge of the show; which made it all the more exciting.

The story follows our main protagonist Jade, as she visits a museum on a school trip with her classmates. She finds herself lost in the Gallery of Greatness, which is not yet open to the public. The Gallery of Greatness is a celebration of some of the most inspirational women from history. Jade is feeling insignificant and invisible in life, and feels she'll never make her mark on the world like these fantastic women. 

It's at this moment that she's transported into the Gallery of Greatness, and starts her empowering journey to finding her purpose. Along the way, she meets infamous women you'll already be familiar with such as Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Anne Frank and Emmeline Pankhurst. But we're also introduced to some women's stories which aren't as well known, but still just as badass. From Mary Anning, to Agent Fifi, to Gertrude Ederle - my eyes were opened to so many amazing women, whose stories I had very little knowledge of.

The cast are simply sensational. It's a small cast, and every member gets their time to shine. Kirstie Skivington's (& Juliet) portrayal of Emmeline Pankhurst in "Deeds Not Words" is one of the most empowering performances I've seen. And Renee Lamb's (Six) performance of "Lullaby Little Girl" as Rosa Parks alongside Anne Frank and Jade is heartbreakingly beautiful. The majority of the show is upbeat and fast paced, which is what made this song even more striking. Rosa Parks was known as a "quietly strong" woman, and this song captures her perfectly.

Christina Modestou (Six) and Jade Kennedy (Billy Elliot) are just as fantastic, and each cast member plays several of these inspirational women. However, there's no doubt that the star of the show is Kudzai Mangombe who plays our protagonist, Jade. She barely leaves the stage and is a part of almost every song. Her arc of realising her importance and the impact she can make in life is truly beautiful, and made me feel quite emotional towards the end of the show.

While there's currently no soundtrack (it's being recorded now!), you'll still be singing the songs from the show days later. The music is incredibly catchy and a whole lot of fun. There's a megamix at the end of the show which you're able to film (check out my recording here). Each song is packed with meaningful messages and motivational stories of women who deserve to be celebrated - including our Jade.

The set is relatively simple, but the use of colors and props is done superbly, and I think it's a show where your imagination is one of the most powerful tools, and you're encouraged to use it throughout. The costumes are iconic - and definitely memorable (I'm looking at you, Agent Fifi!).

Whether you're taking a child, or going as an adult, it's hard not to leave this production feeling proud to be a woman, and marvel at how far women have come due to the work of these "fantastically great women". And even better, you leave feeling like you have the power to become one of those women; no matter how big or small your mark on the world is.

If you're looking for a production full of brightness, fun and a true celebration of women - this is the show for you. It's a show I wish had been around when I was a young girl; it truly is that powerful. The show is currently touring the UK, before making it's last stop in London from June.

You can buy tickets to Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, currently touring the UK, here.

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