With Tom and I finally off on our three-week honeymoon, Amy headed down to the New Theatre, Oxford to check out the latest production of Thoroughly Modern Millie which is on tour across the country.
Based on the 1967 Oscar-winning film starring, acting royalty, Julie Andrews; this week I had the pleasure of seeing the UK touring production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Set in 1920s prohibition New York, Millie, a small town Kansas girl, arrives hoping to take the acting world by storm – as well as marry one of the ten most eligible bachelors the city has to offer. Millie wants to be a truly ‘modern’ woman!
Apart from the soundtrack filled with iconic 1920s jazz, it’s the talents of the cast that make this production. Any fan of Strictly will enjoy the classic Charleston steps and synchronised tap dancing, and the singing was some of the best I’ve heard in a touring production.
A special shout out goes to Millie herself, Hayley Tamaddon. Known for her roles in Emmerdale and Coronation Street, as well as being a finalist on Dancing on Ice some years ago, I expected Hayley to be a talented actress whose singing might have left something to be desired. How wrong I was. Tamaddon made the production with her exceptional vocals, Charleston swivel and pure all-American girl charisma.
With the show being adapted in 2002 from the 1967 film of the same name, some aspects of the story do fall flat. I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed that after Millie has her revelation that she should chose the man she loves over her gold-digging desires, the man she loves turns out to be the rich, New York bachelor she’s been dreaming of. But hey-ho… the story’s a product of its time!
Without a doubt the crowing glory of the show is its comedic timing. Villain Mrs Meers, brilliantly played by Lucas Rush, is almost pantomime-like in his villainous audience interaction – which can’t help elicit giggles from the crowd. While Richard Meek, playing businessman Trevor Gaydon, had the audience in stiches with his very accurate portrayal of a love-sick man who has had one too many drinks.
Overall, Thoroughly Modern Millie is an enjoyable evening out – packed with fantastic dancing, exceptional singing and jokes that will make you laugh out loud. Now… I’m off to go and watch the film… (I do love Julie!)
You can catch Millie on tour in Bath between 29 May and 2nd June, with more dates to be added soon.