A thoroughly enjoyable performance for the opening night of Thoroughly Modern Millie at The Regent Theatre in Hanley.
By Nancy Emery
America in the roaring 20s – the setting for the latest performance to hit the Regent stage in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent – and no doubt it’s caught your attention already. A turbulent but fascinating era – there’s the prohibition, of course, and the fight for voting equality all bubbling away under an extravagantly dressed society that dance to jazz all night long, and where ‘modern girls’ (flappers) are looking at love in a completely different light.
Based on a 1967 film starring Julie Andrews, Thoroughly Modern Millie begins in New York in 1922 as small-town Kansas girl, Millie Dillmount, arrives in the city full of hopes and dreams.
After accidentally tripping over Jimmy Smith (Michael Colbourne) on the street, Millie, played by Coronation Street and Emmerdale favourite, Hayley Tamaddon, finds herself at a hotel for ‘girls like her’ with no money and no plan.
Their lives were to cross again and what unfolds is a hilariously funny and brilliant story that is held together by Tamaddon’s stunning performance and a series of music and dance performances full of vigour and with plenty of pizzazz.
How refreshing to be thoroughly entertained (pardon the pun) by a perfect mix of music, dance, and wonderful talent. It was a score that could captivate an audience and the actors who kept us there – no special effects or trickery at all. The set design and costumes were equally good and helped to thrown the audience back to the decade with ease.
Hayley Tamaddon stole the show – her ease on stage, connection with audience and powerful voice had us all totally bowled over. Lucas Rush is also brilliant as Millie’s evil landlord and, incidentally, a leader of a white slavery ring in China, Mrs Meers. (Go see it and all will become clear!)
The show definitely came into its own in the second act with some hilarious scenes that had the entire audience laughing out loud. One in particular was with Millie’s boss, Graydon, played by Richard Meek, in his ‘drunk’ scene that was super special!
A fun night of music, dance and a whole lot of laughs, this show is going to brighten up your week without fail.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is on at The Regent, Stoke-on-Trent until Saturday 26th May 2018. Tickets are available from The Regent Theatre Box Office, or by calling 0844 871 7649.