My, oh my, this show is a full on, eighty minutes, no interval, celebration of women. Based on a picture book by Kate Pankhurst, it tells the story of Jade, played by Elise Zavou, an eleven-year-old schoolgirl, who is overlooked on a school visit to a museum. She finds herself left behind in the Gallery of Greatness section, which is closed to the public. Straightaway, we know Jade feels unseen. No one listens to her, no one sees her. Her parents are about to divorce, but no one has asked her for any input, or discussed how she feels. Onto the scene comes Amelia Earhart, played by Renee Lamb, Sacagawea, played by Jade Kennedy, Gertrude Ederle, played by Christina Modestou, and Emmeline Pankhurst, played by Kirstie Skivington to offer advice. These four actresses interchanged seamlessly, offering a surprising number of historic women characters. They all performed with high energy, sang some real belters of songs, and danced, strutting their stuff with attitude. It was marvellous.
Elise Zavou was on the stage the whole time and held the audience’s attention throughout, mainly due to a very good script, and a likeability that shone through.
The music and lyrics, by Miranda Cooper, were spot on, grabbed—and held—everyone spellbound. If I wasn’t tapping my feet and clapping along it was because the tempo had slowed and I was nearly in tears with the moving Lullaby Little Girl sang by Renee Lamb, as Rosa Parks.
The stage set showed the musicians in a well-placed, prominent position and added interest without detracting from the actions of the cast. The music and sound were fabulous.
The message throughout the performance was of positivity and there was a real sense of being yourself is good enough, which is a wonderful take-away message. In these difficult times, where there is so much negativity, it was so nice to have the opportunity to celebrate women.
There was not one thing I could fault in this production. Everyone worked so hard and the result was stunning. By the end of the performance most of the audience were on their feet, clapping along to the energetic encores. What a night!