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Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World

Prepare to be entertained by the lively pop musical, “Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World.” Performed as part of its UK tour in Nottingham! Drawing inspiration from Kate Pankhurst’s popular children’s book and skilfully adapted by Chris Bush, the production introduces Jade, a curious protagonist who embarks on a journey through the Gallery of Greatness at her local museum. In a whimsical twist - a bit like a camp female only version of ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ - the historical legends come to life, including Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, and of course Suffragette relative of the author Emmeline Pankhurst. “Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World” celebrates there achievements of these extraordinary women in a charming narrative. 

Fantastical Women

The wonderful Georgia Grant-Anderson shines as Jade, a troubled 11-year-old schoolgirl who embarks on a transformative journey, bothering these historical women for help with her 21st century problems. Beyond Jade’s character the remainder of the cast perform in multirole, bringing forth a parade of eccentric, high-energy characters. I only wish the costumes were a little more true to the time periods. 

Through a delightful blend of songs and camp skits, each historical figure is introduced with panache. The musical numbers, crafted by the esteemed female writers Chris Bush, Miranda Cooper, and Jennifer Decilveo, are fun and rich with educational content taken from the school curriculum. One of the show’s highlights is its ability to deliver an engaging 80-minute history lesson without inducing the boredom I associate with the subject. As someone who wasn’t particularly fond of history in school, I found myself thoroughly engaged in some historical elements of the performance. 

Fantastical Women Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo

The sight of numerous empty seats in the theatre was disheartening, to say the least. Full disclosure, I only attended because a spare ticket landed in my lap. It’s disappointing that the marketing fails to adequately highlight the show’s remarkable achievements and significant messages. While “Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World” is geared towards children, there’s a wealth of content that would resonate just as strongly with adults - who, let’s remember, are the ones purchasing the tickets. It feels like the production has been undersold in this regard. That said, the constant reminder that this show is ‘from the same producer as SIX’ sets expectations sky-high, when the experience of this show is entirely different. While the storyline is straightforward and well-conceived it isn’t a ground breaking new idea (as I said, Bill & Ted). However, the song ‘A World of Colour’ is a standout, finding its way swiftly onto my Spotify musicals playlist - I caught myself humming it the entire drive home.

This musical is undoubtedly aimed towards children and families, and If I had fit into either of those categories then my enjoyment of the show would be twofold. However as an adult man with no desire for a family at this stage in my life, my enjoyment of the show was still substantial. The show was a good story expertly delivered by a talented cast and creative team. My evening at the theatre was thoroughly enjoyable and I wholeheartedly recommend the show to families, particularly those with children in late primary school or early secondary school. Not only does the musical cater to their entertainment preferences, but it also effectively reinforces educational themes, making it a worthwhile experience for young audiences. 

Fantastically Great Women who changed the World Poster
The official artwork for the play


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