Greatest Days at the New Victoria Theatre review: A fun watch for Take That fans

Tuesday 6 June 2023

Greatest Days (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre 

The Official Take That Musical: Greatest Days (formerly The Band) written by Tim Firth with music by Take That, offers a heartwarming story that will resonate with those who have been part of a fandom and experienced the highs and lows of a friendship with so much history. The plot's utilisation of a double timeline is effective, and the show is likely a trip down memory lane for some but overall it falls short of delivering a fully impactful emotional punch.

Made up of Kalifa BurtonJamie CornerArchie DurrantRegan Gascoigne and Alexanda O'Reilly, The Band's presence in the musical, acting as a Greek chorus supporting the girls, is a clever concept. They contribute to the story through well-placed songs, although there are instances where songs do feel a bit forced. While the band's performances are good, they don't exude world domination star quality, and although each band member has their shining second, they lack standout, memorable moments considering their significant role in the show.

Greatest Days has the potential to be a great show, but it falls slightly short of achieving that status. It taps into 90s nostalgia and Take That references, making it a must-see for fans of the era. However, the overall energy of the production could use a boost. The choreography by Aaron Renfree captures the boyband aesthetic and has its impressive moments, but there is a lack of precision and unity among the cast at times which leaves things feeling flat.

The lighting design by Rob Casey stands out as a strong element, effectively evoking the feeling of being at a concert. On the other hand, while Lucy Osborne's set design works well with the show and offers adequate levels for mirroring, it doesn't offer much to visually engage the audience beyond the surface.

The chemistry between the girls, both the younger (Emilie Cunliffee, Kitty Harris, Hannah Brown, Mari McGinlay and Mary Moore) and older versions (Kym Marsh, Rachel Marwood, Holly Ashton and Jamie-Rose Monk), is commendable. Their well-defined personalities contribute to the plot, creating a strong through line which has some heart-wrenching moments. However, there are some of jokes and lines which feel outdated and unnecessary, and detract from the overall experience.

Despite its flaws, Greatest Days manages to provide some humorous moments and an ending that will have you on your feet. It caters to its target audience who will undoubtedly appreciate the 90s nostalgia and Take That references. As a fun night out, it delivers an enjoyable experience, but it doesn't leave a lasting impression worthy of raving about.

Reviewed on Monday 5th June 2023
photo credit: Alastair Muir

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}