Kym Marsh stars as Rachel and her daughter Emilie Cunliffe as Young Rachel In the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Take That’s first ever UK number 1 single Pray, GREATEST DAYS features more than 15 record-breaking Take That songs alongside a heart-warming and hilarious story of love, loss and laughter from the award-winning writer Tim Firth (Calendar Girls, Kinky Boots). The musical follows a group of five best friends in the 1990’s who are obsessed with their favourite boy band. The girls reunite more than 20 years later with a plan to see their heartthrobs one last time in what could be the Greatest Days of their lives.
GREATEST DAYS was originally produced as The Band by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers + Take That. The UK tour of The Band originally opened at Manchester Opera House in September 2017, breaking box office records along the way.
Jhez Bermudez was there and these are his thoughts…..
Greatest Days – the official Take That musical, is at Milton Keynes Theatre all this week. I tried to have an open mind whilst watching this as I’d already seen it in its previous form called The Band and there is also a new film out of it.
It started kind of slowly for me because it was re-telling the story of 30 years ago when Rachel (Kym Marsh) was reminiscing her life with her friends when they were just teenagers and loving the boy bands and the play contains so many revelations about their friendship – how their personalities changed as they reach adulthood later on. I think the songs of Take That were just a perfect fit for this story.
When we get our first glimpse of Kym Marsh and her younger self (played by Kym’s daughter Emilie Cunliffe) it was so right as they do look so much alike! It was a role made for them!
The first act has the girls so excited to be going to a gig of their favourites, but unfortunately as they rushed to the stage door, they find out that pop stars are often driven away from the theatre even whilst the applause is still going! They got thrown off a bus on the way home for being too boisterous like teenagers sometimes are, in fact I felt the young actresses could’ve let themselves go even more! Despite that they were still able to convey an element of fun as the script had a good sprinkling of funny lines.
However the pace picked in the 2nd half with the girls, now middle aged re visit their favourite group at a concert in Greece. I don’t want to spoil anything but let’s just say there’s some brilliant storytelling as the ladies’ personalities once grown-up are revealed! The story becomes very poignant and once the adult actresses take over the stage really lit up and came to life! The twists and turns in the story are really unexpected.
If you enjoy stories like that or if you are a Take That fan you don’t want to miss this show! It is a must see musical, don’t just go there for the songs of Take That, go because you want to celebrate friendship, let the memories of your childhood linger and guide you to become the adult you are.
With musical finale you won’t forget, I highly recommend you getting booked in at the Milton Keynes Theatre this week!
Greatest Days is at the Milton Keynes Theatre until 8th July