Thoroughly Modern Millie was originally a film that was released in 1967 starring Julie Andrews, of Mary Poppins fame, and Mary Tyler Moore.
During this time it blew away audiences and critics with nominations for seven Academy Award and five Golden Globes to prove its cinematic worth. The musical was then developed 35 years later. It appeared on Broadway in 2002 and along with the film it received 11 Tony nominations and winning six of them. This UK Tour has already seen heaps of praise from its audiences throughout its duration. Does this musical masterpiece live up to its expectations?
The cast for this performance is led by Strictly Come Dancing star Joanne Clifton as Millie Dillmount who travels to New York to make something of herself. Jimmy Smith is played by Sam Barrett and Katherine Glover is playing the role of Millie’s best friend Miss Dorothy. Lucas Rush plays the musical baddie Mrs Meers and Graham MacDuff plays MIllie’s boss Mr Trevor Graydon. Andy Yau and Nick Len play Mrs Meers’ partners in crime Bun Foo and Ching Ho respectively. Jenny Fitzpatrick plays the celebrity singer Muzzy Van Hossmere. Along with a supreme ensemble cast this versatile musical looks set in place.
The first act is very steady as it brings out the very best of the dancing and the musical numbers. The second act is an absolute masterpiece of theatre; it is more gripping and comically mastered than the first act. An interesting mixture that does start off quite slow, but as the story goes on the entertainment becomes addictive. Joanne Clifton is just brilliant as Millie as she showcases her talents and Rush is ever so charming as the evil Mrs Meers. Graham MacDuff brings the second act to life with his hilarious drunk acting. Glover deserves recognition too for her great performance.
The set design was somewhat majestic when moving the back of the stage forwards and back. The background was a fine mixture between the office and the hotel room scenes. The design of the hotel rooms were fitting and convenient. The use of the desks along with the choreography was very slick and they didn’t crash into each other like it was an episode of Robot Wars. Speaking of the choreography, what an outstanding and colourful display Thoroughly Modern Millie is. The props, tap dancing… absolutely everything was a pleasure to watch. Musically it was enlightening, especially in the first act.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is an absolutely delight to watch and they deserve credit for making the show go on after the recent Manchester Arena bombing. The performance was fearless and it was the inspiration we all need right now. A cast that proves their worth in every single way. The first act did take a little while to kick off, but with the great musical numbers and elusive dancing it creates such a heart-warming impact. Thoroughly Modern Millie is an irresistible musical that brings charming and laugh out loud moments that keep on getting better throughout the performance.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is playing at Manchester Palace until 27th May. You can book your tickets here.