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Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World - Nottingham Review

Reviewed by Bliss Warland-Edge
Tickets were gifted in return for an honest review

‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World’ packs a modern, meaningful, feminist punch at the Nottingham Royal Theatre this March! Based on the book by the same name written by Kate Pankhurst (yes- in fact related to the famous suffragette Emiline Pankhurst!)her words are now brought to the stage in bright neon and technicolour by director Amy Hodge. There’s no doubt about it, this inspiring show is a feast for the eyes!

Photo by Pamela Raith 

As hordes of (mostly) women and young families buzzed and mingled in the theatre’s entrance on opening night, the energy of the crowd resembled the hyperactivity you might see before a significant football match- but with a gentle respect towards each other that you might witness amongst a yoga group patiently entering their studio, all soft smiles and waiting their turn. Truly a night to celebrate the energy that women can bring to a space when they gather.

Our four main cast members of this great show wake the audience up as they enter the stage via the stairs in the audience, throwing out quippy lines and seamlessly blending harmonised melodies into an effectively enunciated dialogue. The chemistry between Jennifer Caldwell, Chlöe Hart, Summer Priest and Leah Vassell sets the tone for the show; women of different backgrounds and shapes all dancing and singing beautifully in unison, with some impressive rapid delivery from Caldwell reminiscent of a Hamilton number. Soon we are introduced to our protagonist, young Jade, played by the incomparable Georgia Grant-Anderson. Her powerful solo about feeling lost in the universe both triggers the start of the existential crisis that underpins the show but also captivates the audience with her powerful voice and incredible range. 

Despite there being no interval during this 85 minute show, you cannot notice it for the perfectly timed high and low energy moments, between Jade’s pondering and reflection, we are consistently treated to a variety of feminist delicacies in the form of musical sketches regarding groups of fantastic women from throughout history. Climbing out of various parts of the stage are suddenly four completely new characters within each sketch portion, with brand new accents, costumes, accessories, body language, and backstories, not to mention the set itself; with different lighting, accompanying musical motifs and an effective use of props to adapt an overall simplistic set for a drastically different experience in each era.It is clearly a very slick piece of theatre with an impressive production and creative team.

Photo by Pamela Raith
One stand-out element of this show was the neon cubes placed high up on huge crates on the stage, holding three exceptionally talented musicians who delivered a memorable and immersive live soundtrack for the performance. Combining an acoustic drumkit with an electronic drumkit, multiple instruments for each musician, as well as hand-held percussion, multiple keyboards and using iPads to electronically enhance the genre for each song, this was a highly innovative experience for live musical theatre and one that we may see appearing more in future, we said this show was inspiring- watch this space!

Overall, Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the world packages historically accurate information in a family-friendly format, via some incredible musical numbers that Disney will be knocking down their door for, but most importantly, presents us with a level of human emotion that women young and old will leave the theatre pondering and hopefully will make the men in the theatre pause and think of the Fantastic Women in their lives for a moment too.

P.S. Buy the programme, it is worth it!


Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World plays at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal until Saturday 16th March 2024. Tickets are available from

Photo by Pamela Raith

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