Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World at Theatre Royal Stratford East
Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World has landed in London as part of its UK tour. The show, adapted from Kate Pankhurst’s book under the same title, follows a “lost” child, Jade, on a journey of self-discovery and her encounters with some of the greatest female names in history.
Directed by Olivier-nominated Amy Hodge, the show successfully retells stories of great women in history, from Jane Austen to Rosa Parks, through the medium of song. At the heart of the show is an important message to Jade and the audience: to be unapologetically yourself. Hodge, through her direction, manages to bring the stories to life with an exciting and dynamic cast of very talented women.
Special mention needs to be made of Christina Modestou and Renée Lamb whose vocal talents and charismatic personalities shine throughout the musical. Lamb donned the hats of Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks and Mary Seacole, bringing their stories to life, leaving the audience with a sense of intrigue. Her song as Parks best showcased her vocal prowess, bringing emotion to all who watched, while her characterisation as Earhart showed off her talents as an actor, as well as the many accents at her disposal. Modestou blew the audience away with her rivetting impersonation of Gertrude Ederle, and contrasting depiction of Jane Austen. Through her comedic timing and overall bubbly performance, the audience can’t help but laugh at the whimsical nature of the characters she portrays.
Though the story of Jade (played by Kudzai Mangombe) can be taken as a sad one, Mangombe does a great job of making sure the audience doesn’t feel sorry for her but rather rallies behind her and roots for her through her journey of self-discovery, something that can resonate with all who watch the show.
This family-friendly musical is the burst of colour and positivity that is needed in today’s world where, just by turning on the news, one can be bogged down by the constant barrage of negativity. It also begs the audience to consider what more can be done to make sure that everyone’s light can shine brightly because we are all “fantastically great”.
Photo: Pamela Raith
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is at Theatre Royal Stratford East from 15th June until 17th July 2022. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World here: