The Greatest Days musical is an overwhelming splurge of feel-good against a backdrop of ultimate boy band classics. 

“It has been your show all along and now we want you on your feet, singing every song”… as if we needed any encouragement at the end of the night. After two hours of non-stop Take That hits, some mega boy band dance moves and plenty of reminiscing, we were ready to shine.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the band’s first ever UK number 1 single, Pray (and yes that’s included), the musical features more than 15 record-breaking songs from the foursome. 

What an absolute joy to be transported back to the 90s and all its tracksuit, cassette player and Smash Hits glory; it was as if no time at all had passed, let alone 30 years, and from word go aka Relight My Fire, we were in. 

Kym Marsh stars as Rachel in the Greatest Days musical

Source: Alastair Muir

Kym Marsh delivers a brilliant performance as Rachel - and is joined on stage by her daughter Emilie (who plays her younger self).

When award-winning playwright Tim Firth (Calendar Girls, Kinky Boots) first conceived the idea for the Greatest Days book behind the musical, and the movie version which was released this summer, he was very clear that it wasn’t a story about the band. 

It’s so much more than that. It’s a celebration of friendship and the importance of connection. The story starts with a group of teenage girls, the best of friends who idolise Take That and everything they stand for. The band give them hope, dreams, a sense of belonging. You’re drawn into their world, part of their first concert and taken on their journey of life’s inevitable rollercoaster with all its twists and turns. 

What an absolute joy to be transported back to the 90s and all its tracksuit, cassette player and Smash Hits glory.

Fast foward 20 years and the girls reunite to see their heartthrobs one last time in what sets out to be one of the Greatest Days of their lives. There’s laughter, tears and all kinds of emotions as you’re again taken along with them, now as adults, for the ride.

Incredible performances and a heart-warming story

The characters and performances are outstanding from Kym Marsh as Rachel and Jamie-Rose Monk as Claire to the hilarious Heather (Rachel Marwood) and loveable Zoe (Holly Ashton).

The ‘boys’ themselves too are brilliant, of course donning their best 90s boyband clobber (jeans and white vests anyone?)

There’s a very special scene when the woman are joined on stage by their teenage selves (played beautifully by Hannah Brown - Zoe, Kitty Harris - Heather, Mari Mcginlay as Claire and Emilie Cunliffe - Rachel, Kym Marsh’s daughter). It’s full of emotion, as the whole production is, and of course has a Take That song that’s perfect for the moment. 

The cast of the Greatest Days musical

Source: Alastair Muir

The small but perfectly formed cast deliver in this heart-warming tale of friendship and belonging. 

The set itself is simple and superb. What appear as stairs in houses double up as rocks, backstage set-ups, a Greek fountain, police cells (no spoilers here) and more.

A special mention must go to Alan Stocks who takes on numerous roles throughout the show including Greek police officer, bus driver and ex-Spandau Ballet member. His many accents, and singing on the sly, had us in stitches. 

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While the musical explores some tough life experiences, it’s above all a splurge of feel-good. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a Take That fan, although that certainly helps when it comes to the sing-along.

Greatest Days is an incredible story of our lives.Bought together by music, the girls are in their own band of friends and just like Take That, they loved, lost, fell apart and then reformed. And as comebacks go, it’s one you’ll perhaps never forget…

We saw Greatest Days at Milton Keynes Theatre on Monday 3rd July, 2023. It’s currently touring until November visiting theatres in Norwich, Blackpool, Glasgow, Bristol and more.

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