Chris Bush, Miranda Cooper and Jennifer Decilveo’s Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is in one word, a celebration. Incredibly upbeat and colourful, there is so much to learn from this musical.
This musical is more than fantastically great, it’s legendary
After losing sight of her class on a school trip, Jade (Kudzai Mangombe) sneaks into an off-limits part of the museum. Meeting figures like Frida Kahlo (Jade Kennedy), Mary Seacole (Renée Lamb), Mary Anning (Christina Modestou), Emmeline Pankhurst (Kirstie Skivington), and others who challenged and excelled in male dominated fields, Jade learns valuable lessons about standing up for the things that matter, making your voice heard and creating a world of colour from reality.
Cooper and Devilveo’s score is as varied as it comes, utilising different pop tropes to create an empowering and catchy score. Each song contains an incredible amount of information about the various historical figures that we meet, to the point where it is impossible to leave this musical without learning something new, whether about history or yourself. It is hard to pick a favourite song, because each one just makes us want to get up and dance along, to the point where it is hard to sit still from the second-hand excitement and energy we get from the actors onstage. Joanna Scotcher’s set and costume design are filled with hidden details and modernisations that fit the characters and overall aesthetic of the musical perfectly. From Emmeline Pankhurt’s purple, white and green military uniform to Frida Kahlo’s floral print butterfly-like skirts, each costume contains a larger than life element that drastically changes the atmosphere and completes each moment that occurs onstage.
The cast of Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is incredibly powerful and talented, and most definitely one of the best ensembles since Six. To be able to deliver such a high-energy, driven and mind-blowing performance whilst constantly moving and switching between characters is entirely awe-inspiring. Hopefully this musical and cast will find a home on the West End in time for next year’s Olivier Awards.
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is an incredibly thorough and entertaining overview of how women have excelled in different areas. In a way, this musical is a culmination of the various legacies women have left behind, and this musical shows us how we can use them as a source of inspiration for ourselves. Taking aim at the patriarchy in an incredibly vibrant way, this Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World should be mandatory viewing for everyone.