Based on the picture books written by Kate Pankhurst, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is a beautiful, fresh and fabulous show which encourages female audiences to find their voice and their take their place in history.
The show follows Jade. Jade is a well-behaved young girl who is on a school trip to her local museum when she is separated from her class. While trying to find her way back she stumbles into the not yet open Gallery of Greatness, and is surprised to meet just a few of history’s (herstory’s) remarkable women. Women like Amelia Earhart, Emmeline Pankhurst, Frida Kahlo and Rosa Parks take Jade under their wing (not intended as an Earhart aviation joke), and help her to understand her value.
With a run time of around 80 minutes, an incredibly catchy score of pop songs (written by pop-legend Miranda Cooper), and overwhelming theme of girl power, this production feels somewhat inspired by the success of Marlow and Moss’s smash hit, Six.
That being said Fantastically Great Women is unique in the fact that without breaking the fourth wall, it speaks to almost every single person sat in that auditorium. Jade is a relatable character going through relatable and every day issues which so many young girls face on a daily basis. She meets 12 remarkable women and questions how she could every reach their level of greatness. My favourite part of this show, is the fact that she learns that she, and in turn each of us, are enough. We all change the world by being in it. Perhaps we won’t make headlines or be world famous, but that’s okay as long as we stay true to ourselves and stand-up for what we believe is right. This is an incredibly empowering and moving message which if I’m honest shook me to my core. I’m 27 and this for me was a revelation. Just imagine the impact this could have on a young audience member!
Every aspect of this production was incredible, from the costumes, to the comedy and staging to the sentiment, but I just have to give a special mention to the ladies on stage. Taking on some of the worlds most inspiring women may seem a daunting task, but this cast made it look easy and effortless. They were beautiful, hilarious and insanely talented.
In a trip to see Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World you’ll probably laugh, if you’re anything like me perhaps you’ll cry, and maybe you’ll learn something new, but one thing I can guarantee is that you’ll leave the theatre feeling empowered and uplifted.
I’ve seen a lot of people saying this is a great show for women and girls, but truth be told, this is a fantastically great () show for everybody, no matter what your age or gender. There are no rules or restrictions and anybody can be inspired bad-ass women. So grab everybody you know and head to the Theatre Royal Stratford East before it’s too late!
Performance attended: 18/06/2022 (Press Invite)
Cast at the performance I attended: Kudzai Mangombe, Jade Kennedy, Renee Lamb, Christina Modestou and Kirstie Skivington
Running information: Fantastically Great Women will continue to run at the Theatre Royal Stratford East till Sunday 17th July and will then tour to Canterbury and the Edinburgh Fringe. For more information click here.
To read our interview with Renee Lamb about Fantastically Great Women click here.
The original cast album is available on Spotify.