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AMAZING TALL WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD – SHEFFIELD LYCEUM May 29, 2022

Fantastically great women who changed the world is a full-fledged, over-the-top one-mode show that produces 85 minutes of relentless, intrusive, loud vocals and screaming proclamations. This brings nothing but pure joy to all who happily clapping along, but if you’re not part of this happy group (mostly young girls and women) beware – there’s no break!

Adapted by Chris Bush from the picture book of Kate Pankhurst, granddaughter of a certain Emmeline, the show blasts a dozen famous women from history onto the stage, all eager to present their choreographed stuff in unlikely combinations and aggressively delivering confident, banging songs proclaiming the raw facts of their accomplishments. With no real acting, these characters don’t get well-rounded characterizations, but for the most part are all equally obsessed and screaming, occasionally bordering on the hysterical. Only towards the end do Anne Frank and Rosa Parks introduce brief, rare nuances, thoughtfulness, selflessness and poise – and a ballad. The women are usually interpreted in a simplified and superficial way, not according to the motives, customs and ways of thinking of their own time, but according to current egocentric ways of thinking. Humility, quiet perseverance, forbearance, patience, service, and performance of duty are not high on the agenda today.

In cubes neatly bordered by colored light stripes, on a pleasantly bright, attractive set, the three musicians sit high above the action and stand out, on drums and keys. Below, neat wooden crates and nicely lit arrows and chevrons represent the museum where schoolgirl Jade is accidentally left in the gallery by teachers and where she encounters these historical figures, each of whom insists on inspiring her with loud advice on how to be amazing is great. how to be phenomenal and change the world by following your dreams, aspirations and passions, by being determined, ambitious and assertive (and possibly obnoxious). Nor is it because they didn’t consciously set out to be fantastically tall. However, Rosa Parks eventually tells Jade, in a quieter mode, that she can also be great by just being a small part of a larger movement, or indeed just by being. phew!

Many interesting costumes combine nods to historical eras with current and futuristic fashions: Emmeline Pankhurst, for example, appears in purple and gray camouflage fights and Marie Curie in a black sci-fi outfit with atomic headgear, while Jane Austen is more of a Little Bo Peep in a lace-up one sneakers. Frida Kahlo’s floating dress is particularly colorful when she sings about it A world of colors, a song that, like the rest, arose from the collaboration between Miranda Cooper, Chris Bush and Jennifer Decilveo. A universal favorite is Mary, Mary, Marie – and Agent Fifi (that’s Mary Seacole, Mary Anning, Marie Curie and Agent Marie Christine Chilver) and like catchy songs Actions, not words! and the big closing number Fantastic great are ideal to join.

Welcome humor is plentifully interspersed throughout, but overall the show lacks the larger wit, depth, craftsmanship, and variety of anything like that Terrible stories, and anyone is unlikely to learn much other than snippets they already knew. A young lad in the audience, possibly an advocate of balance and equality, asked why there is not a single male in the cast or band and why the only male representations are curly mustaches held aloft by sticks.

While this linear, somewhat fragmented show desperately hammers out its ambitious “go-for-it” message a million times over and keeps the “fun” going, its high energy and volume provide obvious enjoyment for many who believe it, fantastically awesome.

Eileen Caiger Gray

Next on the tour are Poole, Stratford East in London and Canterbury. You can learn more by visiting the website by following this link.



AMAZING TALL WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WORLD – SHEFFIELD LYCEUM May 29, 2022

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