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REVIEW - Greatest Days (UK Tour, Glasgow) [Musical Theatre]

Updated: Jan 22

22 August 2023

King's Theatre, Glasgow


⭐⭐⭐⭐

Non-stop entertainment and a blistering pop soundtrack.


Greatest Days, Take That Musical at Glasgow King's Theatre. Musical Theatre, The Band. Photo: Lisa in the theatreir

Originally produced as 'The Band' in 2017, Greatest Days tells the story of 5 childhood friends who bond over their love for a boy band. Featuring 15 Take That songs, Greatest Days is a heart-warming, funny story about friendship, the passage of time, and what it means to be a fan of any music.


Despite being 'The Official Take That musical', Take That are never actually mentioned in this show, the boy band are simply referred to as 'The Boys'. But their music is the key feature of the production, with hit after hit performed by the onstage boys and the live band below. The songs are sensational, and any Take That fan will be in their element. The Boys perform as if in concert at times, but they also appear in other unexpected locations to show just how their music got into their fans heads. It's cleverly done.


I was a fan of 'The Band' seeing it in both Glasgow and Edinburgh during it's original 2017/18 UK Tour. Famously, the boy band had been found via a BBC One reality TV singing competition, 'Let it Shine'. The TV show had an average of over 5 million viewers per week and the resulting boys were exceptional. In Greatest Days, 'The Boys' are a little less well known, but their performance skills are just as good. The vocals in the first number were a little ropey, but they soon settled into the flow to perform as a believable boy band.


Greatest Days, Take That Musical (UK Tour, Glasgow), Musical Theatre, The Band. Photo credit: Alastair Muir

The boys don't have any speaking roles in this show, the storyline focuses instead on 'the girls', i.e. the fans. Five girls attend a concert together in Manchester in the 1990s and then meet up again 25 years later. The story is about them: about the life, love and loss that happens when you grow up. It's a very smart bait and switch for anyone expecting to see the story of Take That played out on stage. The group of fans are relatable, normal - they could be any of us obsessing over our favourite music and heartthrobs - and that's the point.


The younger girls are fantastic, every one of them believable and engaging; and the older girls are magnificent, funny and adept. I was such a fan of Rachel Lumberg and Alison Fitzjohn in the original, I didn't think their portrayal could be matched. But Jamie-Rose Monk, Holly Ashton, Rachel Marwood and Jennifer Ellison bring their own brilliance to the roles and I adored every one of them. Glasgow marks Jennifer Ellison's debut in Greatest Days and she really is the perfect leading lady for this show. Actor, singer, dancer and all-round star, she's a radiant, spirited Rachel and looks really comfortable on the stage.


Adding some superb humour to the show, Alan Stocks 'everyman' Dave is a hilarious scene stealer. Janitor, bus driver, policeman to name but a few, 'Dave' crops up throughout the show and is priceless every time. A touch of genius by the writing team, played brilliantly by Stocks.


The set is functional but does feel a little basic and drab at times. There are always budget constraints for a touring show, but that seems a little more detectable here than usual. So much more could be done if the budget allowed. The lighting by Rob Casey however saves the visuals with some excellent and inventive arena lighting and welcome, lively rays reaching into the auditorium at times.


Greatest Days is so much more than a 'Take That musical': It's playful, astute and surprisingly emotional. But most of all it's non-stop entertainment with a blistering pop soundtrack at its core. Great fun.


⭐⭐⭐⭐


Listings and Tickets


Greatest Days plays the King's Theatre, Glasgow from Mon 21st to Sat 26th August 2023.

🎟️ Tickets: www.atgtickets.com


Greatest Days plays the Edinburgh Playhouse from Mon 28 Aug to Sat 2nd Sept 2023.

🎟️ Tickets: www.atgtickets.com


Greatest Days, Take That Musical (UK Tour, Glasgow), Musical Theatre, The Band. Photo credit: Alastair Muir

📸 Production photo credit: Alastair Muir


 

🌟REVIEW - Greatest Days (UK Tour, Glasgow) [Musical Theatre]🌟


🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange. Whether I am invited or not has absolutely no impact on my reviews or star ratings.


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Lisa in the theatre, theater, reviews, blog, Scotland, Scottish

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